Consequences of uses of computing
This entire topic is for Year 1 of the course.
Computer Science Tutor
Legal / Legislation
Cultural issues are all factors that influence the beliefs, attitudes and actions of people within society. Common cultural influences are family, the media, politics, economics and religion. These are cultural differences between different groups of people. For example, people from difference countries often have a different culture.
There are elements of computer use that have a cultural impact in that they can change our attitudes, beliefs and actions:
- abuse / misuse of data
- invasive technologies
- over-reliance on computers
- over-reliance on technology companies
- 'big brother' culture
Moral / Ethical
Ethical issues are factors that define the set of moral values by which society functions. Moral issues are factors that define how an individual acts and behaves.
An ethical issue is one that concerns our own individual behaviour and our own personal concept of right and wrong. We learn our moral values from other people such as our parents, teachers and peers, and we learn them for ourselves from experience. Ethics vary slightly from morals in that they are a way of trying to define a set of moral values or principles that people within society live by. Ethical issues are sometimes referred to therefore as social issues.
The use and misuse of personal data
Most organisations collect data on an ongoing basis and much of these data are personal. At a basic level this might be name and address information, but may also include data about individuals' finances, health, relationship status, family, employment history and even their personal views.
This presents a number of issues:
- personal privacy
- data security
- misuse of data
- 'big brother'
- online profile
There are a number of other moral and ethical issues relating to Computer Science:
- unauthorised access
- unauthorised use of software
- inappropriate behaviour
- inappropriate content
- freedom of speech
- access to the Internet.