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Information Technology Ethics & Law

Course NumberPHL 210W
Credits2
Lab Hours0
Lecture Hours30
Course DescriptionStudies and analyzes ethical and legal issues in computing and the information technology industry. Develops analytical decision-making skills for issues including intellectual property, product piracy, copyright laws, pertinent court decisions, privacy and security, and software product quality. Includes special issues related to use of the Internet for information technology professionals. (30-0)


Outcomes and Objectives

Use a decision-making strategy to analyze ethical problems in the information technology profession.
Objectives:
  1. Explain the various parts of the ethical decision-making strategy.
  2. Demonstrate an analyses in which they know the strategy to reach a well-supported decision.
  3. Discuss and assess ethical principles which are relevant to a decision, and apply them to ethical dilemmas and decision-making.

Choose and evaluate well-reasoned from poorly-reasoned ethical justifications.
Objectives:
  1. Explain the limitations of using non-ethical reasons to justify violating ethical principles.
  2. Distinguish descriptive statements about ethical values from value judgments using them.
  3. Clarify the fallacies in misapplications of such ethical principles as the right to make a profit and the welfare of the public.

Apply legal, moral and ethical principles covered in the course to ethical problems within various professions and situations, orally and in writing.
Objectives:
  1. Identify when a principle or law is upheld by a given act and when it is violated.
  2. Recognize and explain which principles or laws are upheld and violated by a given act or decision.
  3. Describe the areas of common meaning among ethical or legal principles and the areas of difference among them.
  4. Describe and clarify the practical, professional and ethical consequences of any given act or decision regarding an ethical dilemma the professions of information technology.

Understand the reasoning, which supports the alternative sides of the major ethical and legal issues studied in the course.
Objectives:
  1. Indicate and formulate the main arguments on both sides of the issues studied.
  2. Recognize and construct the strengths and weaknesses of the main arguments.
  3. Assess the degree of support, which relevant ethical principles provide for main positions on the issues studied.

Evaluate and formulate arguments to support positions on different sides of ethical issues in information technology and personal computing, orally and in writing.
Objectives:
  1. Know models of critical analysis by studying some of the major pro and con arguments and their main weaknesses.
  2. Investigate, identify and explain examples of ethical arguments.
  3. Formulate original arguments to support their viewpoints on ethical issues and defend them against objections, both verbally and in writing.

Clarify, distinguish, apply, and evaluate the use of basic vocabulary, regarding moral theories, ethical principles, codes of ethics, and concepts essential to resolving ethical dilemmas and issues within the profession of information technology and computing, orally and in writing.
Objectives:
  1. Define, understand and master the terminology of ethics.
  2. Distinguish appropriate from inappropriate uses of terms.
  3. Identify cases to which the concepts apply and assess the degree to which they apply.
  4. Use the terminology to strengthen analyses of ethical issues and dilemmas.

Recognize moral and ethical issues and dilemmas within the information technology professions.
Objectives:
  1. Identify and explain the differences between a legal or psychological or ethical issue and dilemma.
  2. Describe the ethical dilemmas and moral issues within case-study scenarios.

Identify special issues unique to computing and the information technology industry including the use of the Internet.
Objectives:
  1. Describe privacy and security issues related to the Internet.
  2. Describe legal issues related to product licensing, software piracy, file sharing, copyright laws, and court decisions.
  3. Describe intellectual property issues and challenges from the Internet.
  4. Describe issues in software quality and discuss case studies, such as Y2K, release of poor quality software, responsibility and liability for the use of software, cyperporn, electronic invasions of privacy, and violations of confidentiality regarding electronic record keeping.
  5. Describe the role and limits of government for regulation and enforcement of laws related to technology




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