Course Information

INFO 3425 PROFESSIONAL ETHICS AND LAW

COURSE CODE:         INFO 3425

COURSE TITLE:         Professional Ethics and Law

CREDITS:                      4

LEVEL:                          3

PRE-REQUISITES:     INFO 2400

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

This course provides an overview of current ethical standards and practices in the computing and information technology area. Students will develop an awareness of both the ethical and legal issues facing the computerized workplace. The course also introduces the student to policy development in computer technology related environments.

COURSE RATIONALE:

An IT professional needs to understand the social and professional impact of information technology and computing, and its effect on ethical codes of conduct and law. This course introduces students to issues that deal with the moral, legal and social issues involving computing and information technology.

CONTENT:

1. Philosophical aspects of ethical decision making

2. Intellectual properties

Ownership of information, plagiarism, copyright, patent, and trademark laws

  • Legal issues in computing
  • Compliance, computer crime, system use policies & monitoring, software piracy, risks and liabilities of computer-based systems, privacy and civil liberties

4. Globalization issues

5. Online communities and social implications

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

At the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Prepare and present an oral presentation for a management audience
  • Distinguish between ethics and law
  • Explain how patent and copyright laws may vary internationally
  • Identify the types of policies that should be included for system use and monitoring
  • Develop a code of ethics
  • Develop a security policy
  • Identify the consequences of software piracy on software developers and the role of relevant enforcement organizations
  • Explain how risk can be managed in an information technology environment
  • Produce an acceptable use policy

ASSESSMENT:

Method of Evaluation

Percentage of Grade

Restriction

Coursework

       2 Assignments  20%

              (problem sets)

 

       1  Project            10%

          (case study)

 

       1 1-hr Examination 10%

40 %

 

Final Examination
       One 2-hours written paper

      ( Covers entire course – all         

        lectures, readings and tutorials )

 

60%

Fail Theory Regulation

Students must get a passing grade on final examination to pass the course.

TEACHING STRATEGIES:

Lectures will be used to introduce the main concepts of the course. However, discussion and brain storming methods will be used throughout the course with the goal of allowing students to gain an appreciation for the area. Case studies will be used to immerse the student in real world scenarios that are relevant to their field.

RESOURCES:

Tavani Herman T.  Ethics and Technology: controversies, questions, and strategies for ethical computing 3rd ed. Wiley

Baase, S. 2003. A Gift of Fire Social, Legal and Ethical Issues for Computers and the Internet. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Johnson, D.G. 2000. Computer Ethics. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

COURSE CALENDAR:

TIME PERIOD

TOPIC

WEEK 1, 2

Intro to Cyberethics

  • Concepts
  • Persepectives
  • Methodological frameworks

WEEK 3, 4

Ethical concepts and theories

  • The Great Prinicples ( Freedom Equality, Benevolence, Minimum Infringement of Freedom
  • Categories of ethics (professional, social and individual)
  • Ethical views (Deontological, Consequentialist, Natural Rights)
  • Law vs ethics

Assignment 1

WEEK 5

Tools for evaluating cyberethic issues

  • Critical thinking skills
  • Developing logical arguments

WEEK 6

Professional ethics and moral responsibility

  • Importance
  • Developing a code of ethics and Codes of conduct
  • Acceptable use policy
  • Importance
  • Developing an AUP

WEEK 7

Privacy and Cyberspace

  • Privacy and civil liberties
  • Gathering and exchanging personal data
  • Mining personal data

Assignment 2

WEEK 8

Security

  • Risks and liabilities of computer based systems
  • Three categories of cybersecurity
  • Purpose and Importance of a security policy
  • Developing a security policy

Exam

WEEK 9, 10

Intellectual property

  • ownership of information
  • copyright, patents and trademark laws
  • Software Piracy
  • Digital Rights Management

 

WEEK 11, 12

Globalization Issues

  • Global Laws
  • Cyber business
  • Global Education
  • Information Rich vs Information Poor

WEEK 13

Revision and project presentations