Computer Science

ECM3431 - IT Law and Ethics (2019)

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MODULE TITLEIT Law and Ethics CREDIT VALUE15
MODULE CODEECM3431 MODULE CONVENER Victoria Thomas (Coordinator)
DURATION: TERM 1 2 3
DURATION: WEEKS 12 0 0
Number of Students Taking Module (anticipated) 15
DESCRIPTION - summary of the module content

***DEGREE APPRENTICESHIP STUDENTS ONLY***

This module addresses a wide range of legal, ethical and societal issues that confront IT professionals. You will look into civil and criminal law as it pertains to digital technologies, focusing on pressing issues such as intellectual property, confidentiality, data protection, privacy, contracts and computer crime. You will also explore ethical issues in IT and software engineering, addressing the responsibility of the IT professional towards others and encompassing issues such as system reliability and relevant codes of conduct. A series of case studies will be examined.

AIMS - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to ensure that you understand the ethical and legal implications of the work you do and can conduct yourself ethically and in accordinace with relevant laws.

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES (ILOs) (see assessment section below for how ILOs will be assessed)

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

Module Specific Skills and Knowledge

1. Understand and apply knowledge of civil and criminal law

2. Understand and apply knowledge of intellectual property rights, including software copyright, patents, designs, trade marks and passing off, copyright and webpages, Internet domain names, protection of computer images and icons, jurisdiction

3. Understand and apply knowledge of confidentiality, data protection law; freedom of movement of personal data and privacy issues.

Discipline Specific Skills and Knowledge

4. Understand and apply knowledge of computer crime, fraud and computer misuse.

5. Understand and apply knowledge of ethics relating to IT and its impact on society, including ethical issues in software engineering and computer science and software and hardware reliability

6. Describe case studies of notable system failures.

Personal and Key Transferable / Employment Skills and Knowledge

7. Communicate orally and in writing

8. Think analytically and critically

9. Organise your own work

10. Work to a deadline

11. Collaborate and negotiate

12. Conduct independent research

 

SYLLABUS PLAN - summary of the structure and academic content of the module

IT law (6 weeks)

•          Introduction: civil and criminal law (1 week)

•          Intellectual property (1 week)

           o          Copyright; software ownership; licensing; piracy

           o          Patents

           o          Designs

           o          Trade secrets

           o          Trademarks; passing off; domain names

•          Confidentiality and privacy (1 week)

           o          Use of cryptography; eavesdropping; surveillance

           o          Data protection; Information Commissioner’s Office

           o          Freedom of movement of personal data

           o          Freedom of Information; censorship

•          Computer crime (1 week)

           o          Computer misuse

           o          Fraud

           o          Hacking; denial of service attacks

           o          Malware

•          Contracts and legal liability (1 week)

•          Defamation; incitement (1 week)

 

IT ethics (6 weeks)

•          Introduction (1 week)

           o          Society and ethics

           o          Ethical theories (duty, utility, choice)

           o          Ethical issues in IT

•          Case studies in IT ethics (1 week)

•          Automation (1 week)

           o          Efficiency

           o          Impact of IT on work and working practices

•          Information warfare (1 week)

•          Software and hardware reliability; dependence (1 week)

           o          Safety-critical systems

           o          Case studies; notable system failures

           o          Ethics of artificial intelligence/expertise

•          Professional standards (1 week)

           o          Professional bodies

           o          Codes of conduct (e.g., BCS)

LEARNING AND TEACHING
LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS (given in hours of study time)
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities 22.00 Guided Independent Study 128.00 Placement / Study Abroad 0.00
DETAILS OF LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS
Category Hours of study time Description
Scheduled learning and teaching activities 18 Online learning activity, including virtual workshops, synchronous and asynchronous virtual lectures and other e-learning.
Scheduled learning and teaching activities 2 Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities 2 Group workshops
Guided independent study 128 Coursework, exam preparation and self-study

 

ASSESSMENT
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT - for feedback and development purposes; does not count towards module grade
Form of Assessment Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Contribution to class discussion N/A 1-12 Verbal
       
       
       
       

 

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT (% of credit)
Coursework 50 Written Exams 50 Practical Exams
DETAILS OF SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT
Form of Assessment % of Credit Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Essay assignment  50 3,000 words 1-12 Written
Written exam 50 1.5 hours 1-12 Written
         
         
         

 

DETAILS OF RE-ASSESSMENT (where required by referral or deferral)
Original Form of Assessment Form of Re-assessment ILOs Re-assessed Time Scale for Re-assessment
Essay assignment (50%) Essay Assignment (3,000 words) 1-12 Completed over summer with a deadline in August
Written exam (50%) Written exam (1.5 hours) 1-12 August assessment period
       

 

RE-ASSESSMENT NOTES

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be deferred in the assessment. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you may be required to sit a referral. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 40%.

RESOURCES
INDICATIVE LEARNING RESOURCES - The following list is offered as an indication of the type & level of
information that you are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Convener

ELE: vle.exeter.ac.uk

 

Reading list for this module:

Type Author Title Edition Publisher Year ISBN Search
Set Baase, S. A Gift of Fire: social, legal and ethical issues for computers and the Internet 1st Prentice Hall 1997 [Library]
Set Smartt, U. Media & Entertainment Law 3rd Routledge 2017 1138961884 [Library]
CREDIT VALUE 15 ECTS VALUE 7.5
PRE-REQUISITE MODULES None
CO-REQUISITE MODULES None
NQF LEVEL (FHEQ) 6 AVAILABLE AS DISTANCE LEARNING No
ORIGIN DATE Tuesday 10 July 2018 LAST REVISION DATE Wednesday 29 January 2020
KEY WORDS SEARCH IT, Law, Ethics