Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Computers in Society Things to Research

Legal issues

The Data Protection Act 
Computer systems store lots of personal details, and personal data can be very valuable. This data needs to be protected and only used in the right way. The Data Protection Act (DPA) sets out principles that govern:
  • who can access data
  • the accuracy and validity of data
  • selling data
  • removal of data
Breaches of data protection are often in the news. For example, NHS Surrey was fined £200,000 for selling a computer that contained patients' personal records without first destroying the data on thehard drive.

The Health and Safety at Work Act

The Health and Safety at Work Act makes employers responsible for their staff. Design considerations should provide appropriate working conditions for staff. Designers should consider how easy systems will be to use and any health implications there might be based on their choices of software, screen layout, input methods and the hardware used.
Individuals using computers at work have the right to expect decent working conditions. They should have appropriate desks and chairs that are adjustable, as well as good lighting and ventilation in the office.

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act makes it illegal to use software without buying the appropriate licence. Computers have also made it very easy to download music and fi lms illegally, and to copy say, essays or projects written by other people and available on the Internet. Universities and Exam Boards use specially written software to search for instances of plagiarism (copying other people’s work). As an individual you should make sure that you only run licensed software on your PC at home. Technically it is theft if you just get a copy from a friend. The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act protects the people who write the software from people making illegal copies. This law is diffi cult to enforce and

many people don’t see it as stealing, even though it is illegal and you could be prosecuted.

Ethical issues

Ethical considerations are all about fairness. Here are some examples of ethical issues around computer systems:

• Is it fair that some people cannot afford computers?
• Are countries like India being exploited as a source of cheap labour for call centres and for programming?
• Should companies use local programmers and call centres?
• Does the system design disadvantage some part of the community?
• Does the system design promote accessibility for all?

Environmental issues
Environmental issues include the carbon footprint and waste products that result from manufacturing computer systems, but this is often outweighed by the positive effects on the environment of using computerised systems to manage processes that might otherwise generate more pollution.

Considerations may include:

• Does a computer system mean that people can work from home and therefore drive less?
• Does a computer system mean more manufacturing?
• Is working at home more environmentally friendly than everyone working in a big offi ce, in terms of heating and lighting?
• Do computer-managed engines work more efficiently? Create less pollution and use less fuel?

Impact of Computer Technology on society

How has it affected

  • Communication
  • Employment
  • Social Interaction
  • Manufacturing
  • Safety

No comments:

Post a Comment

Wildern Pupils if you log onto your school email account you can leave a comment via that ID.