Computers, Ethics and Society

Computers, Ethics and Society

  • Paperback
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Computers can have both a positive and negative impact on our lives. As they become increasingly important, these machines have the potential to deprive us of our privacy and even the jobs we need to support ourselves. On the other hand, they can enhance the quality of human life by producing unimagined freedom from drudgery and want. Intended for students in sociology, philosophy, and computer science courses, this book serves as a reminder that although technology has the potential to improve or undermine our quality of life, it is society which has the power to ultimately decide how computers will affect our lives. The book, in its second edition, provides a stimulating set of interdisciplinary readings specifically designed to understand these issues. The readings examine current computer problems, discussing them at a level that can explain future realities. Topics include the threat to privacy, computer wrong-doing and whistleblowing, and the questions of how to decide when and if a computer-related act is more

Product details

  • Paperback | 351 pages
  • 139.7 x 205.74 x 25.4mm | 408.23g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 019510756X
  • 9780195107562

Table of contents

Part I Computers in an ethical framework: the ethical context of computing; ethical issues in computing - work, privacy, justice; information technologies could threaten privacy, freedom, and democracy; technology is a tool of the powerful; ethical theories we all use; the best action is the one with the best consequences; the best action is the one in accord with universal rules; is our intuitive moral sense a reliable guide?; fundamental tendencies underlying the human moral system; "design errors" in the human moral system. Part II Computers and personal life: privacy concerns in computerized society; why privacy is important; are hacker break-ins ethical?; your "private" information may be public property; solving the problems of electronic cash; effects of computerization on personal fulfilment; information and our interactive future; will there be a place for me in the information age?; informing ourselves to death; how computers affect interpersonal relationships; social relations and personal identity in a computerized society; gender differences in online communication. Part III Computers and the just society: work in the computerized society; computers transform the work setting; computerization, work, and less-developed countries; computing in small, energetic countries; whatever happened to the information revolution in the workplace?; computer law in the just society; the constitution in cyberspace; the World Wide Web and copyright law; copyright battles on the Web - from Elvis to Wittgenstein; the GNU manifesto; the role of government in computerized society; legislation to protect privacy; digital communication must not weaken law enforcement; wiretap laws must not weaken digital communication. Part IV Computing professionals and their ethical responsibilities: what people do matters; the morality of whistle-blowing; lotus marketplace - how the good guys finally won; why good people do bad things - the case of collective violence; people are responsible - computers are not; professional codes; computer ethics institute - the ten commandments of computer ethics; association for computing machinery - ACM code of ethics and professional conduct; using the ACM code; can we find a single ethical code?show more