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Data Protection Act 1998

Problems with organisations holding personal data:

  • personal data might be wrong, means wrong decisions could be made
  • organisation may not take care of the personal data it holds so others may find out about it

Examples of the effect of wrong information:

  • medical details could be wrong, so wrong treatement
  • wrong decisions may be made - refused a loan
  • wrong exam results affect getting a job

DATA PROTECTION ACT 1998:  a law that restricts the way personal info is stored and processed on a computer

Data subject: the person the personal data is about

Data holder/controller: the person in the organisation who is responsible for the personal data held, responsible for making sure that the organisation meets all the requirements of the DPA

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The DPA protects individuals by placing obligations on the organisations who collect and process the data in the following ways:

  • registration/notification - requires anyone who uses personal data to register with the Information Commissioner, who is the person who is in charge of the Act/Law. They must say what data they intend to hold and what they intend to do with it
  • individuals can see their own personal data - anyone can apply to see the personal data held by them, organisations have to show it and if there is any wrong info it must be changed
  • data must be kep secure and up-to-date - data subjects can sue an organisaion that does not keep their personal data secure
  • the right for a person to claim compensation - if data is processed unlawfully by an organisation then the person can take them to court and claim compensation
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DPA principles:

Personal data should be:

1. processed fairly and unlawfully

2. obtained only for specified purposes

3. adequate, relevant and not excessive

4. accurate and kept up-to-date

5. not kept any longer than is necessary

6. processed in accordance with the rights of the data subject

7. kept secure

8. not transferred to a country outside the EU unless they have a comparable data protection law

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Exemptions from the DPA:

  • when data is used for personal, family, household affairs
  • data is being used for preparing the text of documents
  • data is used for producing accounts, wages and pensions
  • data is used for mail shots
  • data is used by a sports or recreational club that is not a limited company
  • data is used for prevention and detection of crimes
  • data is used for catching and prosecuting offenders
  • collecting taxes or duty
  • medical records or social worker reports

Personal data guardianship code: code that enable organisations and the people who work in them who handle personal data to understand their individuals responsibilities

  • Accountability - must be clear management responsibility
  • Visibility - data subjects must have the right to access their personal data and have it corrected if wrong
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  • Consent - use of personal data has to be fair and lawful
  • Access - everyone should have the right to know the roles and groups of people within an organisation who have access to their personal data
  • Stewardship - organisations collecting personal data should protect it
  • Responsibilities - must be clear who is responsible for the protection of all personal data collected

Physical methods to prevent unauthorised access to computer systems:

  • Locks - if entry to building and computer rooms is restricted it is easier to secure the computers. Rooms should be locked with keywords, swipe cards and biometric methods
  • Clamps - attach the computers to the desk
  • Alarms - burgular alarms
  • Surveillance - CCTV cameras positioned around the buildings and inside computer rooms
  • Location - not ground floor where equipment can be seen by passers by and easily stolen
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The Computer Misuse Act 1990 and copyright law

Purpose of the Computer Misuse Act 1990:

passed to deal with a number of misuses as the use of computers became widespread

Makes it an offence to:

  • deliberately plant or transfer viruses to a computer system to cause damage to porgrams/data
  • use an organisations computers to carry out unauthorised work
  • hack into someone elses computer system with a view to seeing the information or altering it
  • use computers to commit various frauds

Hacking: process of deliberately attempting to or actually gaining access to an ICT system without permission.

Protection against hacking:

FIREWALLS: software, hardware or both used to filter out unauthorised requests from outside users to gain access to a network. Keeps hackers out. Filter data so that only allowable data is allowed into a system

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INTRUSION DETECTION: hardware or software that is used to detect unwanted attempts at accessing a computer system

Computer viruses: program that replicates itself automatically and usually carries with it some payload that may cause damage. They can:

  • display annoying messages on the screen
  • delete programs or data
  • use up resources, making computer run slowly
  • spy on your online use e.g, usernames and passwords

what can be done to help prevent a virus attack?

  • install virus checking software
  • perfrom virus scans regularly
  • do not open file attachments to emails useless you know who they are from
  • train staff on problems caused by viruses
  • do not allow staff to attach portable devices into computer unless scanned first
  • do not allow employees to download on computers
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Copyright Law:

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 protects intellectual property being copied e.g,

  • software
  • text
  • hardware
  • books and manuals
  • images on websites

actions that are illegal:

  • copying software and music illegally
  • copying images or text without permission
  • sharing digital music illegally
  • running more copies of software than is allowed

Avoiding plagiarism: plagiarism is passing off someone elses work as your own. In order to avoid:

  • put in own words or acknowledge the source by stating data and name of author
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Moral and ethical implications of illegal downloads and file sharing:

  • agains the law and a crime
  • theft
  • money from illegal copying is bad as usually used for drugs etc.
  • not everyone who produces copyrihgt material is wealthy and may rely on this as an income

ISP denying service: if caught illegally downloading music, video and other files ISP could deny facility of connecting to Internet

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Health and safety issues at work

Potential health hazards when using computers:

  • Repetitive strain injury (RSI) - caused by tying high speed or using mouse for a long time, painful illness that causes swelling of joints and similar to arthiritis
  • eye strain - looking at the screen all day, have to wear glasses or contact lenses, blurred vision, headaches
  • back ache - prevents sleeping properly and doing activities
  • stress - situations that cause stress such as losing work, getting a virus, unable to connect to Internet, can cause depression and mental illness

Methods of preventing or reducing the risks of health hazards:

BACKACHE: caused by:

  • not sitting straight in chair
  • using laptop on knee for long periods
  • working in cramped conditions

Prevent by: using adjustable chair, make sure suitable height of chair, use a footrest, sit up straight with feet on floor, make sure screen is lined up and tilted at appropriate angle

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RSI: cause by:

  • typing at high speed
  • use mouse for long
  • not adopting correct posture for mouse and keyboard
  • not having properly arranged equipment

prevent by:

  • adjust chair to correct position
  • make sure enough space to work comfortably
  • use document holder
  • use wrist rest
  • keep wrists straight when typing
  • learn how to type properly

EYE STRAIN: cause by:

  • using screen for long times
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  • dirt on screen
  • glare on screen
  • working without best lighting conditions

prevent by:

  • keep screen clean
  • use appropriate lighting
  • use blinds to avoid glare
  • have regular eye tests

STRESS caused by:

  • pace of work
  • worry about using new technology - older people
  • software is frustrating
  • losing work, viruses

Prevent by:

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  • help desk to help with user problems
  • train users fully
  • ensure all software is checked
  • design software so easy to use
  • take regular breaks

Safety issues:

  • excessive heat/temperatures: AC
  • management of elctrical systems/computers: could cause fire if overload, should be wired specially
  • cables need to be managed: two types of cables, electrical which carry the power to the components of computer systems and network cables which carry data around, trailing wires, tripping hazard
  • any malfunctioning equipment should be reported
  • lighting - reduce glare on screen
  • sunlight - glare, blinds
  • fire prevention - fire extinguishers, smoke detectors
  • food drink away from computer
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  • UPS (uninterruptible power supplies) and surge protectors should be used - power failure dangerous
  • surges in power dangerous
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