Explain the legal and ethical issues in relation to the use of business information. P5
Data Protection Act 1998
Many businesses have stores and used information about people. The Data Protection Act would protect these information that is held by the organisation would be protected against misuse. The information stored by the company on the database must be obtained fairly and lawfully. It can only be used for the purposes stated during the collection of the information. The reasons given for use must be relevant and adequate and not excessive. It is also important for the information to keep the information up to date and accurate for use. It is also important to ensure the business doesn’t keep the information in for longer than it is necessary. It is also important that the person’s information is stored with their permission.
Freedom of Information Act 2000
This Act provides an individual or an organisation with the right to request information which are held by a public authority. The public authority is required to inform the person or the company whether they hold this information.
Computer Misuse Act 1990
This Act legislates any individual from doing certain activities using computers, for example, hacking other individuals or companies, misusing software or helping someone to gain access to private files on another person’s computer. This law is split into three sections which makes it illegal to conduct;
– Unauthorised access to computer material
– Unauthorised access to computer systems with intent to commit another offence
– Unauthorised modification of computer material
Use of email
Many companies now have their own code of practice on the correct use of email, that gives the uses and the don’t uses of email. Examples of use of email include;
– Distributing urgent news
– Giving basic information to a mass number of individuals
– Reminders / advance notices / and flagging important meetings and other information
– A memo
On the other hand, here is a list of the don’t use emails;
– Communicating with friends and family members
– Sending large documents or attachments to a large group of audience
– For a confidential information
– For long term storage
As well as code of practice on the correct use of email, there is also one for the use of internet, called the code of practice on the use of internet and what an organisation’s employees’ can and can’t use the internet for.
The third ethical issue would be whistle blowing. This is when an employee raises a concern about the business practice to the management of the organisation or to an outsider, such as, the press. These concerns may be related to crime, fraud, danger, or any other serious actions which had an impact on a customer, colleague, shareholder, and/or the organisation’s reputation. Whistle blowers receive legal protection through Public Interest Disclosure Act.
Organisations are entitled to put as many policies they like in the work place to ensure their business practices regarding information are done more ethically. This can be anything for how the company would manage the information to ensuring marketing and other business practice are fair and just.
In this assignment I will be explaining the Operational Issues in Twitter on how they use business information.
Every company, especially the large companies have to store and manage countless amount of information, with few being more confidential and important than other information. There are two issues in ensuring that the information is protected, which includes:
– The organisation receiving the information that it requires
– The appropriate member or staff in the company has received the information
There are a number of policies and procedures that are in place to ensure that the information managed appropriately by the company. These policies and procedures include:
– Security of Information
– Health ; Safety
Security of Information
Information security management is there to deal with maintaining the reliability and availability of the company’s information and knowledge. Most of the information that is focused upon is the digital date; however, this subject also covers the company’s records and knowledge management.
It’s important for businesses like Twitter to have the correct information available to them so it can be used directly when they need it to ensure that they are making good business decisions. Such as, the amount of stock they buy, or what stocks they might consider buying. This is why many companies now store their information on IT systems, however, as the reliance of technology increases throughout all workforces, so does the risks which are posed by system failures and malicious attacks, such as, viruses. The IT Security policy should take account of risks to the data that their business depends on. This policy would include a secure login ID for Staff to use IT systems and giving different staff different access and controls depending on their role in the business.
Large businesses have developed business continuality programmes to try and minimise the risk of losing important information that is stored in IT Servers. This involves developing backups of information that is stored in the server. It’s good to have backups and an important factor for Twitter; this is because if the original data is lost or gets destroyed or damaged by any chance, a backup copy would be available for the company, which allows Twitter to continue their daily duties without much disruptions. In this process, the backup is stored in a separate hardware from its original version of the data so it is secure. The information Twitter is likely to secure and backup is their customer information, such as their personal details, as well as their staff and business partners’ details. They may also keep a record of their cash flow/balance sheet documents.
Health & Safety
This is one of the important issues in every business. This can be very dangerous in terms of the computer equipment. However, it’s not the computer itself that is dangerous, but it can be used in various ways that can be hazardous to health of staff and customers. These health and safety issues include:
– Bad Posture
– RSI – Repetitive Strain Injury
– Eye Strain
In Twitter, all the above mentioned issues come into use. For example, the health and safety issue, bad posture may happen when a staff member is not sat properly at their office desks. It can also be seen done when picking up boxes in the incorrect way which would have a negative impact on their back.
In this part of the assignment, I will be analysing the legal, ethical and operational issues in relation to the use of Business Information for organisations like Twitter.
Legal issues are the laws which are raised by the many companies to ensure that the users and customers are made aware of these. Ethical issues involve the rights and wrongs or what is considered as good, and what is considered as evil in a society. Legal and ethical issues are very different for social networking sites like Twitter from other businesses.
Twitter has their own legal and ethical issues. One of them include, being complied with advertising regulations. The CAP Code is implied on the business, which along with other things says that, advertising should:
– Be legal, decent, honest and truthful.
– Be prepared with the sense of responsibility to their consumers and the society.
– Respect the principles of a fair competition that’s accepted in the business.
– Not be misled by any inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggerations or otherwise.
Another issue that should be considered is their users shouldn’t make any offensive statements. For example, there’s been a situation where two people have faced claims for slander after making comments about another person on Twitter. The first person was a politician who tweeted claiming that his opponent in the by-election campaign was previously removed from a polling station by police. When the opponent went to the High Court later on, claiming that the statements were untrue and were defamatory, the Twitter was reportedly obliged to pay £3000 in compensation plus both sides’ legal costs.
The second man was an Indian businessman who is facing a libel claim from a former New Zealand cricket captain, Chris Cairns, after making match-fixing claims on Twitter against Cairns. The claims, to which Cairns later said were wholly untrue, were repeated on a cricket website. Both these cases demonstrate the need of being careful when writing something on Twitter about someone else or any other social networking.
It is also important for any Twitter user to ensure, they don’t invade anyone’s intellectual property. It is prohibited to tweet anything regarding a subject or thing that might protected by copyright or any other intellectual property right. These things include any type of material such as, photos and articles, which is why it is important to ensure you are contacting the author first if in doubt before tweeting it.
Operational issues are the issues to do with the process of how something is carried out. It could be something like a statement which describes how to measure a certain variable or how to define a certain term. For Twitter’s operational issues the company must store or manage their pieces of information which are important and can be useful in a later time. Some would be more important and confidential information than the others.
To ensure that their information is managed appropriately, Twitter’s set out some policies and procedures that were important to be put in place, concerning the company’s security of information, as well as their back-ups, and the organisational policies.
Explain the legal and ethical issues in relation to the use of business information. P5