1.2 COMPUTER ETHICS AND LEGAL ISSUES Define Computer Ethics, Code of Ethics, Intellectual Property, Privacy, Computer Crime and Cyber Law.


Computer ethics is a system of moral standards or values used as a guideline for computer users. It is needed to stop the current technology products from being exploited.

Ethics is a moral philosophy where a person makes a specific moral choice and sticks to it. Code of ethics in computing means moral guidelines to refer to when using the computer and the Internet.


Intellectual property refers to any product of human intellect that is unique and has value in the market place. This covers ideas, inventions, unique name, computer program codes and many more.


Privacy in IT refers to data and information privacy. In general, data include texts, numbers, sounds, images and video. Information privacy is described as the rights of individuals and companies to deny or restrict the collection and use of information about them.


Computer crimes is defined as any criminal activities that are related to the use of computers. These activities include computer fraud, copyright infringement, computer theft and computer attack.


Cyber law refers to any laws relating to protecting the Internet and other online communication technologies. Differentiate between ethics and law.

  • Guideline: As a guideline to computer users.
  • Moral Standards: Ethical behaviour is judged by moral standards.
  • No Punishments: No punishment for anyone who violates ethics.
  • Free To Follow: Computer users are free to follow or ignore the code of ethics.
  • Immoral: Not honouring computer ethics means ignoring the moral elements (immoral).
  • Universals: Universal, can be applied anywhere, all over the world
  • Produce Ethical Computer Users: To produce ethical computer users


  • Control: As a rule to control computer users.
  • Judicial Standards: Law is judged by judicial standards.
  • Must Follow: Computer users must follow the regulations and law.
  • Punishments: Penalties, imprisonments and other punishments for those who break the law.
  • Depends On Country: Depends on country and state where the crime is committed.
  • Prevent Misusing Of Computers: To prevent misuse of computers.
  • Crime: Not honouring the law means committing a crime. State the need for intellectual property laws.

Intellectual property laws are needed to establish and safeguard the intellectual property which refers to works created by inventors, authors and artists. It is also needed as businesses today continue to expand globally. There are four types of Intellectual Property protection. They are patents for invention, trademarks for brand identity, designs for product appearance and copyright for material.


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