Course ISE312
Title Legal, Social, and Ethical Issues in Information Systems
Credits 3
Course Coordinator

Rob Kelly


This course deals with the impact of computers on us as individuals and on our society. Rapid changes in computing technology and in our use of that technology have changed the way we work, play, and interact with other people. These changes have created a flood of new social and legal issues that demand critical examination. For example, technologies such as Gmail, Facebook, MySpace, along with music sharing sites and wikis create new social, ethical, and legal issues. This course is offered as both CSE 312 and ISE 312.

Prerequisite Prerequisites: CSE, ISE or DAS major; U3 or U4 standing; one D.E.C. E or SNW course
Course Outcomes
  • An understanding of how computing and information systems give rise to social issues and ethical dilemmas
  • An ability to discuss the benefits offered by computing technology in many different areas and the risks and problems associated with these technologies
  • An understanding of some social, legal, philosophical, political, constitutional, and economical issues related to computers and the historical background of these issues

Sara Baase, A Gift of Fire: social, legal, and ethical issues for computing and the Internet, 3rd ed., Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008

Major Topics Covered in Course
  • Privacy
  • Freedom of speech
  • Intellectual property
  • Crime
  • Impact on work environment
  • Evaluating and controlling technology
  • Errors, failures, and risk
  • Professional ethics and responsibilities


Course Webpage

Crosslisted with CSE312