Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ethics and Information Technology

Provide a definition of Information Technology/Information Communications Technology (APA reference required)

Information technology (IT), also known as Information and Communication(s) Technology (ICT) and Infocomm in Asia, is concerned with the use of technology in managing and processing information, especially in large organizations.

Information technology. (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2007, from:

Consider the definition of IT you have provided. How is this form of technology prevalent in our society? How common place has it become?

IT has become very common place in our society, examples include, computers/internet; email, online shopping, internet banking, blogs etc, cellphones, mp3 players, digital cameras, video cameras……..

What IT devices or system do you feel comfortable and competent using?

I feel confident using all technology mentioned above, and I usually can work out how to use a new piece of technology/website by playing around with it for a while.

Thinking about your own fieldwork experiences consider how IT is being used in Occupational Therapy practice?

Computers are widely used for managing client files and other information. Email is a common form of communication between staff.
Technology is being used for adaptive equipment.
Digital cameras could be used to document information, eg. on a home assessment visit.
Blogs and forums have potential to be useed for professional development and supervision.

What ethical implications arise from the capturing, sharing and transferring of information via IT devices (e.g. mobile phones) or systems (e.g. internet)

When posting information on the internet you need to think about whether you have the right to do so; Is the information someone else’s intellectual property? If you are posting information or images that concerns others do you have informed consent? This is very important because once something has been put on the internet it can be impossible to remove, because even if the information is removed from the webpage, there is no way of knowing who has already uploaded the information and no way to stop them posting it somewhere else.
There are also ethical issues around allowing equal access to all people; those with disabilities may be disadvantaged, for example someone who is blind may not be able to use the internet banking websites, and therefore can not take advantage of the free banking that is offered online.
Also lower socio-economic groups may not have access to certain technologies because they can not afford to pay for them.

Provide a definition of Computer Ethics (APA reference required)

Computer ethics is a branch of practical philosophy which deals with how computing professionals should make decisions regarding professional and social conduct.

Computer ethics. (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2007, from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_ethics

Provide a definition of Intellectual Property (APA reference required)

In law, intellectual property (IP) is an umbrella term for various legal entitlements which attach to certain types of information, ideas, or other intangibles in their expressed form. The holder of this legal entitlement is generally entitled to exercise various exclusive rights in relation to the subject matter of the IP. The term intellectual property reflects the idea that this subject matter is the product of the mind or the intellect, and that IP rights may be protected at law in the same way as any other form of property. However, the use of the term and the concepts it is said to embody are the subject of some controversy

Intellectual property. (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2007, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_property

Provide a definition of Social Justice (APA reference required)

Social justice mostly refers to an ideal of society, where "justice" refers to economic status rather than to the administration of laws. It is based on the idea of a society which gives individuals and groups fair treatment and a just share of the benefits of society, although what is "fair treatment" and a "just share" must remain unclear or subject to interpretation.

Social justice. (n.d.). Retreived Februry 14, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_justice

Provide a definition of Informed Consent (APA reference required)

Informed consent is a legal condition whereby a person can be said to have given consent based upon an appreciation and understanding of the facts and implications of an action.

Informed consent. (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informed_consent

In your own words briefly summarise why (or why not) a great understanding of ITC and the ethical issues it encompasses will help us in our practice and daily lives.

Being competent in the use of various technologies is an advantage in OT practice and in everyday life, it can make certain tasks easier or more efficient, and can provide opportunities that would otherwise not be available. As an OT it is important to understand the ethical implications to ensure professional and ethical practice.

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