Computer Ethics
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Computer Ethics : United States Edition

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Written in clear, accessible prose, the Fourth edition of Computer Ethics brings together philosophy, law, and technology. The text provides an in-depth exploration and analysis of a broad range of topics regarding the ethical implications of widespread use of computer technology. The approach is normative while also exposing the student to alternative ethical stances.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 216 pages
  • 150 x 226 x 14mm | 281.23g
  • Pearson
  • Upper Saddle River, NJ, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • 4th edition
  • 0131112414
  • 9780131112414
  • 706,662

Back cover copy

Computer Ethics: Analyzing Information Technology,



The 4th edition brings the field of computer ethics into the 21st Century. Drawing on concepts and theories from STS, this edition introduces a new approach: sociotechnical computer ethics. The book maintains a focus on enduring issues of privacy, property, democracy, and professional ethics while coming to grips with current developments in computing, information, communication technologies, and ethical issues around social networking, free and open source software, Wikipedia, artificial agents, and more.



The new edition is accessible to undergraduates while at the same time providing analyses that will be of interest to scholars and theorists. As before, chapters begin with short scenarios that make the issues concrete; explain the issues clearly; provide rigorous and provocative discussion; and conclude with a set of study questions.



"Perhaps the greatest strength of this work is that it excels at being both a college course textbook and as a book that advances the basic ideas that comprise the field."

Peter Madsen, Carnegie Melon University



"I believe this is the best text on the market for Computer Ethics."

Day Radebaugh, Wichita State University



"The author does a good job of setting the setting the stage for a discussion on Computer Ethics and the many important factors surrounding this field."

Demetria Enis-Cole, University of North Texas
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About Deborah G. Johnson

Deborah G. Johnson is the Anne Shirley Carter Olsson Professor of Applied Ethics and Chair of the Department of Science, Technology, and Society at the University of Virginia. Johnson has devoted her career to understanding the connections between ethics and technology. She received the John Barwise prize from the American Philosophical Association in 2004; the Sterling Olmsted Award from the Liberal Education Division of the American Society for Engineering Education in 2001; and the ACM SIGCAS Making a Difference Award in 2000. Keith W. Miller is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Springfield. His work in software engineering and computer ethics provide complementary perspectives to questions that challenge computer professionals. He is the editor-in-chief of IEEE Technology and Society, and helped develop the Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice. He was named a University of Illinois Scholar in 2000 and received the ACM SIGCAS Outstanding Service Award in 2006.
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Table of contents

ContentsPreface viAcknowledgments viiiAbout the Authors viii Chapter 1 Introduction to Sociotechnical Computer EthicsChapter Outline 1Scenarios 21.1 A Virtual Rape 2 * 1.2 Surprises About Social Networking 3 * 1.3 RFID and Caring for the Elderly 4Introduction: Why Computer Ethics? 5The Standard Account 7New Possibilities, a Vacuum of Policies, Conceptual Muddles 7 * An Update to the Standard Account 10The Sociotechnical Systems Perspective 13Reject Technological Determinism/Think Coshaping 13 * Reject Technology as Material Objects/Think Sociotechnical Systems 15 * Reject Technology as Neutral/Think Technology Infused with Value 17Sociotechnical Computer Ethics 18Micro- and Macro-Level Analysis 21Return to the "Why Computer Ethics?" Question 21Conclusion 22 * Study Questions 23 Chapter 2 Ethics and Information Technology 24Chapter Outline 24Introduction: "Doing" Ethics 25Descriptive/Normative 26 * The Dialectic Method 28 * Ethics is Relative" 32Ethical Theories and Concepts 35Utilitarianism 35 * Intrinsic and Instrumental Value 36 * Acts versus Rules 38Critique of Utilitarianism 39 * Case Illustration 41 * Deontological Theory 42 * Case Illustration 44 * Rights 46 * Rights and Social Contract Theory 47 * Virtue Ethics 48 * Analogical Reasoning in Computer Ethics 49Conclusion 51 * Study Questions 51 Chapter 3 Ethics in IT-Configured Societies 53Chapter Outline 53Scenarios 543.1 Google in China: "Don't Be Evil" 54 * 3.2 Turing Doesn't Need to Know 553.3 Turnitin Dot Com 55Introduction: IT-Configured Societies 55Technology as the Instrumentation of Human Action 56Cyborgs, Robots, and Humans 58Three Features of IT-Configured Activities 60Global, Many-to-Many Scope 61 Distinctive Identity Conditions 62 Reproducibility 65IT-Configured Domains of Life 66Virtuality, Avatars, and Role-Playing Games 66 Friendship and Social Networking 68 Education and Plagiarism Detection 70Democracy and the Internet 72What Is Democracy? 73 The Arguments 74 * Is the Internet a Democratic Technology? 76Conclusion 79 Study Questions 79 Chapter 4 Information Flow, Privacy, and Surveillance 81Chapter Outline 81Scenarios 824.1 Email Privacy and Advertising 82 * 4.2 Workplace Spying: The Lidl Case 82* 4.3 Data Mining and e-Business 83Introduction: Information Flow With and Without Information Technology 84Why Care About Privacy? 86No Need to Worry" 87 * The Importance of Privacy 90 * Privacy as an Individual Good 90 * Privacy as Contextual Integrity 93 Privacy as a Social Good Essential for Democracy 95 Autonomy, Democracy, and the Panoptic Gaze 96 Data Mining, Social Sorting, and Discrimination 98 Crude Categories 100 *Summary of the Arguments for Privacy and Against Surveillance 101Is Privacy Over? Strategies for Shaping Personal Information Flow 101Fair Information Practices 102 Transparency 104 Opt-In versus Opt-Out 104 *Design and Computer Professionals 105 *Personal Steps for All IT Users 106 *A Note on Privacy and Globalization 107Conclusion 107 Study Questions 108 Chapter 5 Digital Intellectual Property 109Chapter Outline 109Scenarios 1105.1 Obtaining Pirated Software Abroad 110 * 5.2 Free Software that Follows Proprietary Software 110 * 5.3 Using Public Domain Software in Proprietary Software 111Introduction: The Complexities of Digital Property 111Definitions 112 Setting the Stage 113Protecting Property Rights in Software 114Copyright 114 Trade Secrecy 118 Patent Protection 119Free and Open Source Software 122The Philosophical Basis of Property 124Natural Rights Arguments 124 Critique of the Natural Rights Argument 125* A Natural Rights Argument Against Software Ownership 127PS Versus FOSS 128Is it Wrong to Copy Proprietary Software? 129Breaking Rules, No Rules, and New Rules 133Conclusion 135 * Study Questions 136 Chapter 6 Digital Order 137Chapter Outline 137Scenarios 1376.1 Bot Roast 137 * 6.2Wiki Warfare 138 * 6.3Yahoo and Nazi Memorabilia 139Introduction: Law and Order on the Internet 140Sociotechnical Order 142Online Crime 143Hackers and the Hacker Ethic 145Sociotechnical Security 150Who Is to Blame in Security Breaches? 152 Trade-Offs in Security 153Wikipedia: A New Order of Knowledge Production 154Freedom of Expression and Censorship 156John Stuart Mill and Freedom of Expression 157Conclusion 160 *Study Questions 161 Chapter 7 Professional Ethics in Computing 162Chapter Outline 162Scenarios 1637.1 Software Safety 163 * 7.2 Security in a Custom Database 164* 7.3 Conflict of Interest 164Introduction: Why Professional Ethics? 165Therac-25 and Malfunction 54 165The Paradigm of Professions 167Characteristics of Professions 168Sorting Out Computing and its Status as a Profession 171Mastery of Knowledge 171 Formal Organization 172 Autonomy 173 Codes of Ethics 174 The Culture of Computing 175Software Engineering 176Professional Relationships 178Employer-Employee 178 Client-Professional 180 Other Stakeholders-Professional 182 Professional-Professional 183 Conflicting Responsibilities 184A Legal Perspective on Professionalism in Computing 185Licensing 185 Selling Software 186 Selling-Buying and the Categorical Imperative 187 Torts 188 Negligence 188A Final Look at the State of the Profession 190Guns-for-Hire or Professionals 190 Efficacy, Public Trust, and the Social Contract 191Conclusion 192 * Study Questions 193Websites 195References 196Index 198
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48 ratings
3.37 out of 5 stars
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4 25% (12)
3 27% (13)
2 17% (8)
1 8% (4)
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