Different legislations that protect people from the misuse of ICT - Assignment Example

In this report I am going to talk about 3 different legislations that protect people from the misuse of ICT. The legislations are all laws that are in working progress and all of them can if broken carry a prison sentence or a fine with them.

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Data Protection Act (1998):

The Data Protection Act 1998 sets out to protect the privacy of personal information. It only covers personal information about living individuals, not about businesses. It covers data stored on computer or in a paper-based filing system. It lets people check what data is being held about them. The Data Protection Act 1998 sets out to protect the privacy of personal information. It is run by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

These are the 8 principles of the Data Protections Act:

1. Fairly and lawfully processed (used)

2. Used for limited purposes

3. Adequate and relevant. Only what is needed may be used

4. Accurate

5. Not kept for longer than is necessary

6. Accessible to the individual and able to be corrected or removed where necessary

7. Secure

8. Not transferred to countries without adequate protectioIn report 3B Dr Pratab used to input his clients personally information such as house address etc in to his computer. He has to make sure that no one else could get into his computer and that he kept his log in name and password secure and to himself meaning no intruders could get that information.

He would also have to make sure that he did not pass on his client’s personal information to other companies such as pharmaceutical companies so that they don’t target that particular client. He has to make sure that the information given to him is used by him or his colleagues only and no one else. If he fails to do this and his clients find out he may not only be legally sued by his client for the data protection act but he may not be allowed to carry on his practise as he would than be breaking the patient confidentiality which all doctors have to take and abide by if they want to become a doctor.

Evaluation of the impact of the Data Protection Act on the individual:

The data protection act means that Dr Pratab’s clients can be safe and that they can rely on him to keep the information that they give him safe. He has a wireless network running in his practise so that each of his collgues can use his client’s records if he is not there. He has ensured that he has put appropriate passwords and levels of access to different members of staff such as the cleaners wouldn’t need to know any of the passwords were as other doctors working in the surgery do need to know them in case of an emergency patient comes in and Dr Pratab cannot take him.

If they did use the clients records or passed them on to a third party with out informing the client or getting their permission and the client finds this out Dr Pratab and his surgery could be sued by the client under the Data Protection Act. This may result in a number of things depending on the misuse of the data given from a prison sentence, a fine which would then lower his surgery’s reputation or to him losing his license to practise medicine. This legislation does affect Dr Pratab how ever it is not as important as if he was a bank but it is still important that he contacts the Information Commissioner’s Office. To say whether and why he may be passing the information of his clients to other parties.

Health and Safety at work Act (1994)

The Health and Safety at Work Act means that employers have a duty to look after the health and safety of their employees. They have to assess the risk of the employee getting hurt or becoming ill and do all they can to avoid it happening. People who use computers for most of the day are exposed to certain risks, and these are the people the regulations cover.

Employers need to look at:

* The whole workstation including equipment, furniture, and the work environment

* The job being done

* Any special needs of individual staff.

They have to assess the risks and do as much as they can to reduce them.

This Act would mainly affect Nikesh Patel in report 3C. Nik was a disabled student and due to the muscle breakdown in his arms he is not able to use them to well and uses the computer most of the time to do his work. He is also unable to use his legs and so is also in a wheelchair most of his time at school. His school needs to ensure that Nik has regular short breaks from the computer screen so that he doesn’t get eye restrains and headaches. They also have to make sure that they place him in a suitable place that doesn’t get too much glare reflecting of his computer screen from the sun. In addition o this they also have to make sure that he is not at his computer all the time and also gets some exercise. He also needs to have a footrest so that his legs aren’t straining too much.

Evaluation of the impact of the health and safety act at work (1994):

The law really helps Nikesh as this means that when he is at school he will not suffer any more injury alongside his disabilities. Unless his school fails to take the proper precautions to make him feel comfortable and give him the proper equipment to do this. If this is the case than that would mean that Nikesh can sue the school under the health and safety act this would mean that the school could be taken to court and they if found guilty they could have a large fine to pay in addition if Nikesh has suffered any injury due to the school not taking proper care of him that would mean he would get extra compensation for recovery or treatment of his injury.

The school could also be put under heavy investigation over the next year to make sure they do follow the proper steps of the Health and Safety Act. The disadvantages of staying with compulsory law is that is can cost a lot for Nik’s school to keep getting new equipment not only for him but the rest of his school mates. However the price is much bigger if they didn’t follow this law especially if they are a disabilities and special needs school like Nik’s.

Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988/89):

The Copyright and Patents Act aims to protect people who invent things from having their ideas stolen. It covers software as a whole, and also the code that makes up the software. When you buy software, you don’t actually buy the software itself. You buy the right to use it, which is called a license. You can only use it in the way the license says you can e.g. Single User Licences, Multiple User Licences and Site Licences.

Why it’s wrong to copy?

* Company will not get profit so will not develop or improve it.

* Piracy runs other crimes such as drug trafficking.

* Inventor doesn’t get paid for hard work.

* Nobody gets prosecuted for copying. Allowing more crimes to get committed.

* Using copied software is as bad as theft.

* Using a product and changing the title is still wrong.

This act would affect me and many other students as in report 3A I talked about the internet helps me to download MP3’s and any other form of media that I want such as video and MP4’s. With this act it means if you are caught copying or using a copied product such as software we can be fined on the extent of the copying. Or could face a prison sentence if caught copying the product. Nowadays there is no need for licenses for most products as they can now find crack codes from the internet.

There are various sites that provide this service either in exchange for another code or for money. This code if used and is found out by the product company than this may result in a fine or the user not being able to us that product due to the company denying them the use of it. This is also the same for download centres almost everyone in this modern age downloads their favourite songs from a number of file sharing products such as limewire or bearshare to other companies such as apple who charge a small amount to buy the song.

Evaluation on the impact of Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988/89):

If I am found or caught downloading songs illegally it is very rare that someone would prosecute me unless it was a really big crime such as me actually copying the song and illegally selling it to other people and making a profit from it with out the permission of the owner of that product. This is also the same with the copying of coursework as that too can be copyrighted if a student is found doing that then there are much worse consequences such as the student being withdrawal from the course for plagiarism.

If I want to use a product than I need to get a license for that product which normally comes with purchasing the product in normally comes in the form of a code that is unique to that specific software only. If I do want to copy the product I need to get the permission of the owner or creator of that product which would come in the form of a license depending on the amount of copies I want to make.