Course Objectives

This undergraduate-level course addresses a different aspect of ethics in information technology, including Privacy, Computer and Internet Crime, Freedom of Expression, and Intellectual Property. We also discuss the impact of of information technology on productivity and the quality of life.

Intended Learning Outcome

In this course, students learn to make broad-minded, objective, and ethical decisions based on technical savvy and sense of ethics.


  1. Introduction to Course: Introduction to Ethics in Information Technology, Course Organization/Contents, Textbooks.

  2. An Overview of Ethics: Definition of Ethics, The Importance of Integrity, Difference between Moral, Ethics, and Laws, Ethics in Business World, Why Fostering Good Business Ethics is Important, Improving Corporate Ethics, Creating an Ethical Work Environment, Including Ethical Considerations in Decision Making, Ethics in Information Technology.

  3. Ethics for IT Professionals and IT Users: Definition of Professional, Are IT Workers Professionals?, IT Professional Relationship (Employers, Clients, Suppliers, Other professionals, IT users, Society at large), IT Professional Codes of Ethics, IT Professional Organizations, IT Certification, IT Government Licensing, IT Professional Malpractice, Common Ethical Issues for IT Users, Supporting the Ethical Practices of IT Users.

  4. Computer and Internet Crime: IT Security Incidents: A Major Concern, Why Computer Incidents are so Prevalent?, Types of Exploits, Types of Perpetrators, Federal Laws for Prosecuting Computer Attacks, Implementing Trustworthy Computing, Risk Assessment, Establishing a Security Policy, Educating Employees, Contractors, and Part-Time Workers, Prevention, Detection, Response.

  5. Privacy: Privacy Protection and the Law, Information Privacy, Privacy Laws, Applications, and Court Rulings, Financial Data, Health Information, Children Personal Data, Electronic Surveillance, Export of Personal Data and Access to Government Records, Case Study: Google, Key Privacy and Anonymity Issues, Identity Theft, Consumer Profiling, Treating Consumer Data Responsibility, Work Place Monitoring, Advanced Surveillance Technology.

  6. Freedom of Expression: First Amendment Right, Obscene Speech andDefamation, Freedom of Expression: Key Issues, Controlling Access to Information on the Internet, Anonymity on the Internet, Defamation and Hate Speech, Corporate Blogging.

  7. Intellectual Property: What is Intellectual Property?, Copyright, Patents, Trade Secrets, Key Intellectual Property Issues: Plagiarism, Reverse Engineering, Open Source Code, Competitive Intelligence, Cybersquatting.

  8. Software Development: Strategies for Engineering Quality Software, The Importance of Software Quality, Software Product Liability, Software Development Process, Capability Maturity Model Integration, Key Issues in Software Development: Development of Safety-Critical Systems and Quality Management Standards.

  9. The Impact of IT on Productivity and Quality of Life: The Impact of IT on the Standard of Living and Worker Productivity, IT Investment and Productivity, The Digital Divide, The Impact of IT on Healthcare Costs, Electronic Health Records, Use of Mobile and Wireless Technology in the Healthcare Industry: Telemedicine and Medical Information Web Sites for Laypeople.

  10. Social Networking: What is a Social Networking Web Site?, Business Application of Online Social Networking, Social Networking Advertising, The Use of Social Networks in the Hiring Process, Social Shopping Web Sites, Social Networking Ethical Issues: Cyberbullying, Cyberstalking, Encounters with Sexual Predators, and Uploading of Inappropriate Material, Online Virtual World: Crime in Virtual Worlds and Educational and Business Uses of Virtual Worlds.

  11. Ethics of IT Organization: IT Workers in the US, Offshore Outsourcing, and Whistle-Blowing.


Ethics in Information Technology 3rd Edition, by George W. Reynolds

Networkingtopdown The bookis a highly anticipated revision that will help readers understand the legal, ethical, and societal implications of information technology. The third edition offers updated and newsworthy coverage of issues such as file sharing, infringement of intellectual property, security risks, Internet crime, identity theft, employee surveillance, privacy, compliance, social networking, and ethics of IT corporations. This book offers an excellent foundation in ethical decision-making for current and future business managers and IT professionals.

Case Studies in Information Technology Ethics 2nd Edition, Richard A. Spinello

Networkingtopdown This collection of 42 high-quality, well-researched case studies on information and computer ethics addresses the most salient ethical issues of the information age, and illustrates the key concerns of computer specialists and information managers today. It engages readers who are novices in computer issues -and those who are more involved- in an exciting discovery process. The cases encompass areas such as privacy, free speech, intellectual property, Internet access, and policy discussions-and feature the Microsoft trial, the Napster case, the FBI's Carnivore technology, and the AOL Time Warner merger. For managers, executives, and IT professionals who work in the field of computer technology, and for use in corporate management education programs.