Lesson Three


     Ethical and Social Issues in ICT


After the completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

understandEthical and SocialIssues Related to Information Systems.

understand IT policy in different timeline.

understand about the Electronic Transaction Act.

understand about the ethical issues.

Understanding Ethical and Social Issues Related to Information System

Computer has become an essential part of our life. We use computer for various uses like studying, buying and selling, entertainment, filling the form etc. It has helped us in many ways. We should be very careful about using the computer, we should not miss use it. We use many types of social sites in the internet. In the early days the users of the computer and Internet were less and the problem occurred at that time also less or negligible. But these days the users are nearly uncountable. As number of users the misuse of the computer is also increasing day by day. Therefore there are some rules which we have to follow while using a computer.

The branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles is called ethics. It tells us to do the right things in the computer. When we misuse the computer and do this and that things without keeping in mind, may harm the society and it may be committed as illegal activity.

We should always remember that our daily activities in the electronic media are recorded. Both social and political institutions require time before developing new behaviors, rules, and laws. The major issues currently seen in our society and businesses are:

download.pngDigital Citizenship

Digital means characterized by electronic technology. Citizenship means the position or status of being a citizen of a particular country.

So Digital Citizenships means to be a good citizen in the electronic technology. A country has boundary but internet has no boundary. To become a good citizen of a country you have to follow the country’s rules, in the same way you must follow the rules of electronic technology and cyber space.


“Digital citizenship can be defined as the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use”.

Elements of digital citizenship

  1. Digital Access: full electronic participation in society.
  2. Digital Commerce: facility of electronic buying and selling of goods.
  3. Digital communication: facility of electronic exchange of information.
  4. Digital Literacy: process of teaching and learning about technology and the use of technology.
  5. Digital Etiquette: electronic standards of conduct or procedure.
  6. Digital Law: electronic responsibility for actions and deeds
  7. Digital right & Responsibilities: those freedoms extended to everyone in a digital world.
  8. Digital Health & Wellness: physical and psychological well-being in a digital technology world.
  9. Digital Security (self-protection): electronic precautions to guarantee safety.

Advantages of digital citizenship

  1. Keeps you connected with your friends
  2. You can express yourself
  3. Quick communication
  4. People an share ideas
  5. It can bring people with the same interests together
  6. You can express your opinion
  7. Free advertising for yourself or a company
  8. It is convenient and access to it is always available
  9. You can make your knowledge known to others so they can learn from you

Disadvantages of digital citizenship

  1. Cyber crime has increased
  2. People easily say the things that they would otherwise not say to someone’s face
  3. It can be a distraction to other important tasks
  4. Privacy can be invaded
  5. People can hack into your account and deface it
  6. Rumors spread very fast
  7. People can pretend to be someone they’re not
  8. It is easy to find out personal information about people
  9. People can post things that aren’t true

Digital Footprint

images.pngWhat we get in our computer from the internet is from the server. When you request something to the server your IP address involves there. Most of the cases your e-mail address is required. Your IP address and e-mail is recorded in the servers. There are layers of servers through which your IP address travels to get your required website. A foot print (your presence) develops each time. Like the proverb “Tell me your friends, I will your character” you can be recognized by following your footprints. So, we should be very careful for our daily activities in the telecommunication.

Facebook Yahoo Gmail Hotmail
Instagram Viber

A digital footprint is a trail left by an entity’s interactions in a digital environment, which includes their usage of TV, mobile phone, internet and World Wide Web, mobile web and other devices and sensors. Digital footprints provide data on what an entity has performed in the digital environment which are valuable in behavioral targeting, personalization, targeted, marketing, digital reputation, and other social media or social graphing services.

Advantages of Digital Footprints

  1. Products and services advertised to you are more personalized.
  2. Companies can offer specials and discounts based on your interests.
  3. Positive posts and information can help with employers and/or school admissions.
  4. Information shared on professional sites like LinkedIn can attract potential employers.
  5. Convenience of remembered information.

Disadvantages of digital footprints

  1. Confidential information like credit card numbers and health information could get into the hands of others.
  2. Unwanted and annoying solicitations.
  3. Negative posts and information can hurt your chances with potential employers and/or school admissions.
  4. The larger your digital footprint, the higher your risk of identity theft.
  5. Your digital footprint is permanent .Once your information is on the internet, it’s there forever.
  6. Loss of privacy.

IT policy 2072

A nation needs some rules and regulation to run the nation smoothly. Most of the things are done through the electronic media. To develop the nation Information Technology is very essential. Our government has published IT policies 2072.

IT policy is a set of policies issued by an organization to ensure that all information technology users within the domain of the organization or its networks comply with rules and guidelines related to the security of the information stored digitally at any point in the network.

As the use of computer technology increased day by day in our country, there needed a rule and law to control it so the Ministry of Information and Communication, Government of Nepal, has published “National Information and Communication Technology Policy, 2015(2072)” which includes electronic Transaction Act, Opportunities and threats in social media.

Information and Communication Technologies are increasingly at the core of strategies aimed at securing the goals of sustainable development and stimulating economic growth in countries around the world. Among others, these technologies are shaping the way social interaction takes place and public services are delivered in some fundamental ways. It is precisely along these lines that the Government of Nepal has placed a great deal of importance on transformative potential of ICTs and positioning these technologies within the larger context of its far reaching developmental aspirations premised around poverty reduction as an overarching goal. ICTs assume particular significance in the light of fact that efficiency more than ever is now an indicator of competitiveness. As such, nations, private sector entities and people that find the means to become more efficient will advance and prosper.

Electronic Transaction Act

ETA (Electronic Transaction Act) which deals with issues related to cybercrime and help in making and implementing laws over cybercrime. It has made different requirements so that if anyone found having cybercrime, he/she will be punished according to the scene of the crime. He /she can be jailed for minimum from 6 months to a maximum of 3 years and must pay the penalty according to the offense. However, the cybercrime has been overgrowing in Nepal because of an inadequate tracking system and the advancement needs still to build like in other developed countries. The lack of proper updates of ETA, the hackers again hacks the governmental confidentiality which is an embracing to tell. ETA yet hasn’t adequately addressed online payment, due to which we still don’t have fast and reliable online payment system too.

With the increasing use of the internet over the world, the number of crimes also has reached its level. So before implementing law people in Nepal should have proper education about cybercrime and a valid law should be created and performed too. If people involving in cybercrime are punished and security enforcement are made strong according to the advancement, we can mitigate the cybercrime here in Nepal.

Opportunities and Threats in Social Media

The emergence of social media as a way to connect with clients, scout out potential customers, and inexpensively market goods and services, has changed business forever. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all serve different purposes and attract a distinct user. Business school curriculum and prospective entrepreneurs will have to incorporate it in order to remain competitive and relevant. Let’s take a look at the strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats that this new marketing vehicle may have on your business and brand.


  1. Easy Marketing tool – Creating/joining online presence on sites where the company currently doesn’t exist. Promotions, news, events that can be offered through social media platforms.
  2. Easy to Share Information within different companies – Great opportunity for individuals and organizations to connect and exchange information.
  3. Can be used to find new markets for business. Penetration into a new geographical market quickly. Partnerships with other groups, organizations, schools, government, etc.
  4. Job Opportunities-Easy for employer to post open positions, recruit new hires, background checks of new employee etc. Easy to search job openings, post resumes to specific group of employers.
  5. Allows you to build short- and long-term relationships with prospects
  6. Humanizes the ‘brand’ and makes the recruitment process more personal.
  7. Twitter could become our digital public face to the world.
  8. Can gain deep insights into real-time trends, news, and all of us; “be the pulse of the internet” as said by Founder Biz Stone.
  9. Integration into real-time games, media, and apps. We’ve barely scratched the surface so far on what’s possible. Twitter as real time infrastructure.
  10. It can become a dominant search engine.
  11. It is becoming the biggest social media marketing tool.
  12. Reach out to certain groups that traditional media didn’t allow you to: Because Social media is for everyone, sooner or later you’ll come across people you never thought of as your client. This opens the doors to building new relationships but also to valuable feedback that can help you develop your products or services more intelligently.


  • Macro factors such as economy, will this affect your user base?
  • Competitor is going after the same space or same audience with similar campaign
  • Is the current campaign sustainable, can it continue?
  • What obstacles stand in the way of success and failure?
  • Attitudes on privacy: while lately it seems, everyone is willing to share the most intimate as well as mundane details of their life – there could easily be a backlash against this trend
  • We’ve all heard of a few embarrassing stories about over-sharing online, and a few high-profile examples might make people rethink their habits groups/government/organizations/people
  • Paid twitter streams may hurt the brand image
  • Facebook may get even more twisty and compete face-to-face with Twitter in microblogging sphere
  • Other social networking sites (Myspace, Tagged, Friend feed,, others) may grow and steal market share
  • Acquisition by a bigger player (Google) may disappoint early adopters and loyal users
  • Advertisements on the sites
  • Identity Theft – Individual Identity can be easily stolen, which can create negative impact on victim as victim’s identity can be used for any ill purpose.
  • Social Media Giant’s Monopoly – Social media giants like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter can use all tricks and cheats to influence politically, socially and feel agendas based on their interests. E.g. anything you search in Google are linked with Facebook, Amazon i.e. whatever you search in Google will show add of those products in Facebook using Amazon plat form. Small business cannot compete with these big companies so either they must collaborate with big ones or go bankrupt.

Computer Ethics

As technology advances, computers continue to have a greater impact on society. Computer ethics is set of moral principles that regulate the use of computers.

Ethics deals with placing a “value” on acts according to whether they are “good” or “bad”. Every society has its rules about whether certain acts are ethical or not. These rules have been established as a result of consensus in society and are often written into laws.

When computers first began to be used in society at large, the absence of ethical standards about their use and related issues caused some problems. However, as their use became widespread in every facet of our lives, discussions in computer ethics resulted in some kind of a consensus. Today, many of these rules have been formulated as laws, either national or international. Computer crimes and computer fraud are now common terms. There are laws against them, and everyone is responsible for knowing what constitutes computer crime and computer fraud.

The Ten Commandments of computer ethics have been defined by the Computer Ethics Institute. They are:

  1. Do not use a computer to harm other people.
  2. Do not interfere with other people’s computer work.
  3. Do not snoop around in other people’s files.
  4. Do not use a computer to steal.
  5. Do not use a computer to bear false witness.
  6. Do not use or copy software for which you have not paid.
  7. Do not use other people’s computer resources without authorization.
  8. Do not appropriate other people’s intellectual output.
  9. Always think about the social consequences of the program you write.
  10. Always think to use a computer in ways that show consideration and respect.

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