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Introduction Computer technologies that provide solutions for gathering sorting manipulating and communicating data and information have revolutionized every aspect of our lives Providing better efficiency unmatched speeds elimination of geographical barriers and improver communication This forced people to confront entirely new rights and responsibilities in their use of information and to reconsider standards of conduct shaped before the advent of computers Information is a source of power and increasingly the key to prosperity among those with access to it Consequently developments in information systems also involve social and political relationships-- and so make ethical considerations in how information is used all the more important Electronic systems now reach into all levels of government into the workplace and into private lives to such an extent that even people without access to these systems are affected in significant ways by them New ethical and legal decisions are necessary to balance the needs and rights of everyone As in other new technological arenas legal decisions lag behind technical developments Ethics fill the gap as people negotiate how use of electronic information should proceed The following notes define the broad ethical issues now being negotiated Since laws deciding some aspects of these issues have been made these notes should be read in conjunction with Legal Issues in Electronic Information Systems Definition of Ethics After looking up several online and offline dictionary we found more than one definition of ethics Microsofts Encarta Online Dictionary defines ethics as a system of moral standards or principles While Cambridge Online Dictionary define it as A system of accepted beliefs which control behavior especially such a system based on morals We believe that the best definition of ethics is that its simply Principles of right and wrong UNDERSTANDING ETHICAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES RELATED TO SYSTEMS Ethics refer to the principle of right and wrong that individuals acting as free moral agents can use to make choices to guide their behavior Information
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