• Most ethical and legal issues in computer system are in the area of individual’s right to privacy versus the greater good of a larger entity i.e. a company or a society. For example, tracking how employees use computers, crowd surveillance, managing customer profiles, tracking a person’s travel with passport and so on. A key concept in resolving this issues is to find out, what is a person’s expectation of privacy. Classically, the ethical issues in security system are classified into following 4 categories:
  • Privacy: This deals with the right of an individual to control personal information. It is the protection of personal or sensitive information. Privacy is subjective. Different people have different ideas of what privacy is and how much privacy they will trade for safety or convenience.
  • Accuracy: This talks about the responsibility for the authenticity, fidelity an accuracy of the information.
  • Property: This determines who the owner of the information is and who controls access.
  • Accessibility: This deals with the issue of the type of information, an organization has the right to collect. And in that situation, it also expects to know the measures which will safeguard against any unforeseen eventualities.
  • When dealing with legal issues, we need to remember that there is hierarchy of regulatory bodies that govern the legality of information security. The hierarchy can be roughly described as follows:
  • International: e.g. International Cybercrime Treaty
  • Federal: e.g. FERPA, GLB, HIPAA
  • State: e.g. UCITA, SB 1386 etc.
  • Organization: e.g. Computer Use policy


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