September 19, 2018

Internet Ethics – Issues past and present

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BCS meeting

On Wednesday the June 18th the GSM Careers and Employability team were once again pleased to welcome The British Computing Society (BCS) to our Greenford Campus.  This time the subject matter to be considered was the rather weighty topic of Internet Ethics.

Our guest speaker was Dr Penny Duquenoy Chair of the BCS ICT Ethics Specialist Group.  She is also chair of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP).  The event was well attended by BCS members, Students and GSM Staff alike.

During her hour long lecture Penny reminded everyone of the early days of the WWW. This brave new world seemed to offer limitless possibilities.  During this phase motives of many of the individuals concerned were holistic in nature.  It was a phase that was destined not to last.

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One of the most striking aspects of the talk was the realisation of what was originally considered an invasion of privacy, we now consider quite normal.  Penny used the example of the notorious BT & Phorm scandal back in 2008.  At that time a number of individuals got very excited indeed that their internet surfing was being monitored through the use of “cookies” to personalise adverts and offers specifically to match recent surfing history.  All this was being done without their specific permission being granted.  Nowadays I suspect most of us accept the option to allow cookies to track us at the vast majority of sites that we use, and do not bat an eyelid about it.  Ah, how times change!  By the end of the presentation we were all left in no doubt that this is an issue that is here to stay.

The GSM Careers and Employability team are committed to providing our students with employability sessions that cover difficult topics such as Ethics and Business Conduct.  If you would like to learn more about this subject and how it affects you personally, look out for a brand new lunchtime seminar that has been written to consider the issues.

Details will be available shortly and published on  Careerszone, GSMcareers  Facebook account and via Twitter.

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