ITEC317 Ethical and Social Issues in Information Systems

Aim of the Course

Main objectives of the course are basic understanding of history of IT, awareness of current issues, and familiarity with ethics. The course provides an overview of ethical theories and related problems such as privacy, networking, security and reliability. The course presents issues such as government supervision, computer crimes, and intellectual property from all points of view. Global issues such as cyberspace, cybernetics, social networking, and online crimes will be reviewed. This course aims to challenge students to think critically and enables them to draw their own conclusion. Besides they will learn to balance divergent thoughts which eventually prepare them to become responsible and ethical professionals as a team, as well as individual users of innovative technologies.

Teaching/Learning Strategy

At the beginning of each class there will be a short lecture about the importance of the topic.

Students will form teams and and present a topic in class.

Case Studies, drama and dialogue will be used as powerful tools to help IT students to identify, discuss and understand the role of ethics in their professional practice.

Students are encouraged to use internet to research and present various related topics in a team work. 
Lecture notes and announcements will be posted on the web site.
Students are responsible to know and use all the course material placed on the web ( and track the designated dates for timely submission of the assignment and for timely attendance to all quizzes.


Grading Scheme

Quiz 1 : 5% (09/03/2018 at 13:30)
Quiz 2 : 5% (30/03/2018 at 13:30)  06/04/2018 at 13:30
Midterm : 35%  Midterms Week 16/04/2018
Quiz 3 : 5% (04/05/2018 at 13:30)
Final : 35% Finals Week
Class participation : 5%


Lecture Material

WeeksSummary of TopicsLecture Notes
Week 1-2

Catalysts for Change:

Introduction, Milestones in computing, Milestones in networking, Milestones in information storage and retrieval, Information technology issues.

Text Book Chapter 1

Week 3Introduction to Ethics:
Defining Terms, Overview of ethical theories, Comparing workable ethical theories, Morality of breaking the law.
Text Book Chapter 2
or ppt used in class
Week 4

Networked Communication:

Spam, text messaging, internet interactions, censorship, freedom of expression.

Text Book Chapter 3
Week 5

Intellectual Property:

Intellectual property rights, Protecting intellectual property, Fair use, New restrictions on use.

Text Book Chapter 4
Week 6Information Privacy: 
Perspectives on privacy, Disclosing information, Public information. Case studies/Discussions

Text Book Chapter 5


Week 7Privacy and Government: 
Government Surveillance, Data Mining.
 Chapter 6 slides
Text Book Chapter 6
Week 8-9Midterm Exams 

Week 10

Computer and Network Security:

Hacking, malware, cyber crime, online voting

Text Book Chapter 7
QUINN Edition 6 Chapter 7 sp1718.ppt
presentation date : 
Students Presenting: 
Week 11Computer Reliability: 
Data entry and retrieval Errors, Software Errors, Software Simulations, Notable software Errors
Text Book Chapter 8
presentation date: 
Students Presenting:

Week 12Professional Ethics: 
Computer experts as professionals, Software engineering code of ethics, Analysis of the code, Case studies, Whistleblowing.
Text Book Chapter 9
Presentaton Date: 

Week 13Work and Wealth:
Automation and unemployment, Workplace changes.
Text Book Chapter 10
Week 14
Research Ethics Material Covered in class

Text/Reference Books

Michael J. Quinn, Ethics in the Information Age, Sixth Edition, Pearson Prentice-Hall, 2015.