3.6 Legal and Professional issues

  • Created by: Clare
  • Created on: 21-05-13 19:28

Data Protection Act

Eight Principles of the Data Protection Act Once registered users must comply with 8data protection principles.  Personal data must be:

  • Fairly & Lawfully processed
  • Processed for limited purposes
  • Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Accurate
  • Not kept longer than necessary
  • Processed in accordance with rights
  • Secure
  • Not transferred to other countries without protection
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Limitations of the DPA

The DPA has some limitations; it can be difficult for the data subject to find out what personal data is being held about them and some organisations are exempt  e.g. tax data. In an organisation the data users must register and comply with the DPA’s eight principles. A DP officer must be appointed and they must identify what data will be stored and the purpose for which it is being processed. Staff must be informed and trained, with procedures put in place to ensure compliance. As a member of the public the data subject must have their data held in confidence with it being up-to-date and accurate. Data subjects have to right to see the data held about them and have any errors corrected.

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Copyright, Designs and Patents Act

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act applies the concept of intellectual ownership to software. A licence is required  for copyrighted  software. It allows the creator the right to control the ways in which their material may be used, uncluding the broadcast and public performance, copying, adapting, issuing, renting and lending of the materical. It is illegal to copy unlicensed software and it is illegal to distribute unlicensed software. The Copyright (Computer Programs) Regulations 1992 extended the Act to include computer programs.

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Computer Misuse Act

The Computer Misuse Act states that is is illegal to access computer material without permission. It is illegal to access materials with intent to commit or facilitate a crime and it is illegal to modify materials without permission. This offence covers using someone else’s password to log onto their user area, even looking at their files. Unauthorised modification of computer material is against the law. It covers purposely introducing a virus into another person’s computer system.

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Health and Safety

There are a range of health and safety problems that arise from working with ICT.

  • RSI – split keyboard, regular breaks
  • Back problems – adjustable chairs
  • Eyestrain – anti glare screen
  • Emissions – screen shield
  • Stress – user friendly, good environment
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AUP -Acceptable Use Policy

Many organisations expect their employees to sign an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) before they are given access to company ICT facilities. An AUP is designed to make users aware of what is regarded as acceptable use of ICT, within the company’s aims, and to give examples of misuse. An acceptable use policy defines the employer’s rights/the employee’s responsibilities regarding the use of ICT including proper use of e-mail and the Internet/how e-mail and the Internet should be used for business and personal use and how use of ICT such as e-mail and the Internet will be monitored and policed. It will describe security procedures such as secure logging on and off and it will prohibit actions which will compromise data security e.g. the use of storage devices not checked for viruses. It will identify management and employees responsibilities relating to legislation and it will define the disciplinary process.

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BCS - British Computer Society

The British Computer Society (BCS) is the chartered Institute for IT & Computing specialists, which promotes wider social and economic progress through the advancement of IT science and practice. The society brings together: industry, academics, practitioners and government to share knowledge, promote new thinking, inform the design of new curricula, shape public policy and inform the public.

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ACM - Association for Computing Machinery

ICT professionals may become members of the Association for Computing Machinery(ACM). The ACM contains the world’s largest digital library of ICT literature, publications, online books and journals. The ACM enables members to contact fellow members via newsletters, conferences, seminars, courses, special interest groups etc ... The ACM provides career guidance which is an electronic meeting place for job seekers and employers in the computing/IT industry. They provide online courses enabling members to keep abreast of the latest development in ICT and they provide accreditation for qualifications/courses

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