Strand 1: Social and ethical significance
Issues of social and ethical significance can arise whenever information technology is used. These issues have social impacts - either positive or negative - on stakeholders. Impacts affect stakeholders in a variety of ways including economically, legally, and psychologically. Issues of social and ethical significance also raise ethical questions about systems, such as 'who is responsible if the systems fails?' or 'is this an ethical way to use technology?'. Often, a single IT systems causes several social impacts and raises several ethical questions. The ITGS issues of social and ethical significance are:
* Reliability and Integrity - Reliability refers to how well a computer system works: if it functions as intended, or fails and crashes. IT failure can cause loss of data, time or money. In the worst cases, failure can even cause injury or death. Integrity refers to the correctness of data. Data can lack integrity if its incomplete, out of date, or has been deliberately or accidentally changed. Problems may also arise if two copies off the same data are stored and only one copy is updated, causing inconsistency.
* Security - Concerned with protecting IT systems from unauthorised users. Security measures such as passwords, firewalls, and locks used to restrict access to machine and networked. Security is closely related to issues such as privacy and integrity, because a security breach in an IT systems can cause loss of control over the data stored in it.
* Privacy and anonymity - Privacy is the ability to control how data about us is used. This included deciding who we give our data to, who, they share our data with, how long data is stored, and how the data is used. IT makes covert data collection relatively easy and large databases of information can reveal a great deal about people's lives, even if their names are not directly recorded. If a person has total privacy, hiding their identity, they become...