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Social Issues in Computing - Essay Example

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Social issues in computing essentially entail discussion of ethical use of computers in society to include aspects such as privacy, intellectual property rights and the impact of computers on society at large. Social responsibility also includes accountability of computer managers to serve the goals of society…
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Social Issues in Computing
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Social Issues in Computing

Download file to see previous pages... (Madon: 1999). However this development is not merely a function of technology but is also related to many social issues to reinforce the capability of people to deploy knowledge for their benefit and within the social and ethical context of their immediate culture rather than a generalized view. (Madon: 1999). Considering these facets in the context of the developing World, where computers are being introduced in large numbers in recent years may provide useful insights of the interplay of computing in society. Technological development precedes awareness of ethics on issues arising from its use and utility. However at present in the developed World a large body of knowledge on the ethics of computer usage has already been built-up, which can be easily applied to concomitant development of technology and social goals in developing countries.
The growth of technology in the World is all pervasive. Systems are being developed in consonance with the needs of the society as well as through vicarious adaptation of its successful employment in other geographic and professional areas. The growth of the internet is a recent phenomenon in the developing World which has been linked with creation of infra structure particularly communications and increased availability of computers. The need for the computing industry to seek other avenues of growth after relative saturation of markets in developed states has also seen proliferation of computers in the developing World. However growth of computers per se does not imply ethical awareness particularly so when it is commercially driven. Companies are more concerned, particularly at the level of middle and lower levels of management about sales targets and growth charts and thus frequently ignore social and ethical issues. However it should be evident to managers that in the overall context, neglect of social and ethical factors will affect overall growth and even survival of the company. Thus it is essential that development of technology and social and ethnical responsibility should be undertaken concomitantly.
There are a number of models of social and ethical responsibility which have been identified. Some writers advocate six senses of responsibility, causal responsibility, functional role responsibility, moral accountability, honorific sense of responsibility, role responsibility and oversight responsibility across the board in the context of the business or geographical area. (http://plato.stanford.edu). It may be difficult for companies to ensure these responsibilities are undertaken while implementing internet development in developing countries. This is so as culture may prohibit or dissuade full scale implementation of such issues in Third World and Eastern culture centric nations. However awareness of these in the management from the very outset will greatly facilitate their holistic growth and understanding as the networks are developed.

Norbert Wiener, a renowned mathematician and philosopher had first propounded the tenets of computer ethics as he saw it develop in the 1950's. These included what has been called as, "great principles of justice". These principles have been stated as the principle of freedom, the principle of equality and the principle of benevolence. (Bynum:2000). In the context of t ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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