Ethical Issues

Ethical Issues in Computing

Privacy and Data Protection

  • The collection and storage of personal data by organisations raises questions about the right to privacy.
  • Information gathered online can be used without individuals’ knowledge or consent.
  • Implementation of strong data protection measures is essential to ensure data is not lost or stolen.

Intellectual Property Rights

  • When developing software, it’s important to respect intellectual property rights, including patents, copyrights and trademarks.
  • Software piracy infringes these rights by illegally duplicating and distributing software.

Social Implications

  • The digital divide is an issue that refers to the division between those who have access to digital technology and those who don’t, contributing towards inequality.
  • Computing technologies can affect employment, potentially leading to job displacement due to automation.

Computer Misuse Act

  • The Computer Misuse Act was introduced to prevent malicious activities, such as hacking, unauthorised access and the creation and distribution of malicious software.
  • This law has been updated to deal with evolving threats.

Health and Safety Issues

  • It’s essential to consider the health and safety issues associated with computer use, such as repetitive strain injury, eyestrain and stress.
  • These issues are regulated by the Health and Safety at Work Act to ensure safe workplaces.

Regulation of Offensive or Illegal Content

  • The internet can be used to spread offensive or illegal content, which is regulated by laws like the Obscene Publications Act.
  • Controls are also in place to protect younger internet users from exposure to inappropriate content.

Use of AI and Robotics

  • The development of AI and robotics poses ethical questions about the potential replacement of human jobs, social interaction and decision-making.
  • Consideration of these impacts is crucial to maintaining fairness and avoiding misuse.