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An introduction to computers and computer systems
An introduction to computers and computer systems

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1.3 Ethical implications

As computers recede into the background of our lives, it is possible to forget about their existence. But think back to the opening activity in this session. Perhaps you left a digital trail of your movements and actions as you interacted with those computers. Where did you shop? Where did you go? How did you travel? Companies want to harvest that data to target their sales to you. Perhaps you give them explicit permission to do that, sometimes that permission is implicit just by choosing to use their service. Who else might access that data? And to what purpose?

The ethical aspects of computing and computing systems are far beyond this introductory course, but increasingly the question of how we use computer systems is becoming the focus of ‘computer’ research in place of examining computer technology itself.

The social consequences of computing technology on us is not the only concern about the increasing use of computer systems. In the next section, you’ll look at another consequence, that on our world at large.