Ethical and Social issues of Information Systems

12/03/2023 0 By indiafreenotes

Information systems (IS) play a vital role in modern society, but they also raise a range of ethical and social issues. These issues arise due to the collection, storage, processing, and dissemination of information.

Information systems have significant ethical and social implications. It is essential for businesses, governments, and individuals to be aware of these issues and take steps to address them. This includes implementing appropriate security measures, protecting privacy, promoting digital citizenship, and ensuring that new technologies do not exacerbate social inequalities.

Important ethical and social issues of information systems:


The issue of privacy arises due to the collection and storage of personal information by information systems. Businesses and governments collect and store large amounts of personal data, which can be misused if it falls into the wrong hands. Privacy concerns also arise from the use of surveillance technologies.


Security is another critical issue for information systems. The use of information systems creates new risks of unauthorized access, theft, and hacking. Cybersecurity breaches can lead to loss of sensitive data, financial loss, and reputational damage.

Intellectual property:

Information systems make it easy to copy and distribute digital content, which raises issues of intellectual property rights. Piracy of copyrighted material is a significant concern for the entertainment and publishing industries.

Accuracy and Reliability:

Information systems are expected to provide accurate and reliable information. However, errors in data entry, processing, and storage can lead to incorrect information being disseminated. This can have severe consequences in fields such as healthcare, where incorrect data can lead to misdiagnosis and incorrect treatment.

Social Inequality:

Information systems can create new forms of social inequality by creating a digital divide between those who have access to technology and those who do not. This can create disparities in access to education, job opportunities, and healthcare.


Information systems can also have significant impacts on employment. Automation and artificial intelligence can lead to job displacement, while new technologies require new skills and training.

Digital Citizenship:

The rise of social media and digital communication has created new challenges for digital citizenship. Issues such as cyberbullying, online harassment, and fake news can have severe social and psychological impacts.

Environmental Impact:

Information systems also have an environmental impact. The production and disposal of electronic devices, as well as the energy consumption of data centers, contribute to carbon emissions and environmental degradation.

How to tackle Ethical and Social issues of Information Systems?

Tackling ethical and social issues of information systems requires a multi-faceted approach that involves several steps, including:

Identify the ethical and social issues:

Start by identifying the ethical and social issues that arise from the use of information systems in your organization. These may include issues related to privacy, security, intellectual property, access, accuracy, reliability, and accountability.

Assess the impact:

Evaluate the impact of these ethical and social issues on your organization and its stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, and the broader community.

Develop policies and procedures:

Develop policies and procedures that address the ethical and social issues identified in step 1. These policies and procedures should be clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Communicate policies and procedures:

Communicate the policies and procedures to all stakeholders, including employees, customers, and suppliers. Make sure that everyone understands their responsibilities and the consequences of not complying with the policies and procedures.

Monitor compliance:

Monitor compliance with the policies and procedures and take corrective action if necessary. This may involve training employees, implementing new technologies, or revising policies and procedures.

Regularly review and update policies and procedures:

Regularly review and update the policies and procedures to ensure they remain effective and relevant in light of changing ethical and social issues and the evolving use of information systems.

Seek expert advice:

Seek expert advice from legal, ethical, and social professionals to ensure that your policies and procedures are legally and ethically sound and reflect best practices.