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12.6: Summary

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    The rapid changes in information technology in the past few decades have brought a broad array of new capabilities and powers to governments, organizations, and individuals alike. These new capabilities have required thoughtful analysis and the creation of new norms, regulations, and laws. In this chapter, we have seen how the areas of intellectual property and privacy have been affected by these new capabilities and how the regulatory environment has been changed to address them.

    Study Questions

    1. What does the term information systems ethics mean?
    2. What is a code of ethics? What is one advantage and one disadvantage of a code of ethics?
    3. What does the term intellectual property mean? Give an example.
    4. What protections are provided by a copyright? How do you obtain one?
    5. What is fair use?
    6. What protections are provided by a patent? How do you obtain one?
    7. What does a trademark protect? How do you obtain one?
    8. What does the term personally identifiable information mean?
    9. What protections are provided by HIPAA, COPPA, and FERPA?
    10. How would you explain the concept of NORA?



    1. Provide one example of how information technology has created an ethical dilemma that would not have existed before the advent of information technology.
    2. Find an example of a code of ethics or acceptable use policy related to information technology and highlight five points that you think are important.
    3. Do some original research on the effort to combat patent trolls. Write a two-page paper that discusses this legislation.
    4. Give an example of how NORA could be used to identify an individual.
    5. How are intellectual property protections different across the world? Pick two countries and do some original research, then compare the patent and copyright protections offered in those countries to those in the US. Write a two- to three-page paper describing the differences.



    2. ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct Adopted by ACM Council 10/16/92.
    6. From the US Patent and Trademark Office, "What Is A Patent?"
    7. Guide to Protecting the Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable Information (PII). National Institute of Standards and Technology, US Department of Commerce Special Publication 800-122.

    This page titled 12.6: Summary is shared under a CC BY-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by David T. Bourgeois (Saylor Foundation) .