ICT and the Law

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Last updated: April 20, 2019

In this piece of coursework I will be talking about various laws and how they affect myself, Mr James (An Adult with a disability) and Mr Hulse (An adult in employment. There are 4 laws I will be concentrating on:* The DPA* Health and Safety* The CMA* The Copyright, Design and Patents ActDPA (1998)The DPA (Data Protection Act) is a law which enforces how data is collected and stored. It stops it from being misused and transported to countries who do not have similar protection of data. For instance, if a school had the personal data of a student and sold it to someone or gave it away, or pinned it up on a notice board or a wall somewhere, they would be prosecuted by the DPA for misuse of data. The DPA ensures all personal information digitally stored is not used in any other way than necessary, and are not viewed and changed when there is no need to.How would you feel if you applied for a job and someone had changed your GCSE results to a very poor standard, making it near impossible to get the job, or if someone had made all the results really good, you would be given a position and expected to do more work than you can possibly accomplish. What if someone had added one or more offences to your criminal record? This is why the DPA exists.

This law covers both digital and written information which is covered from the moment it is created until the moment it is erased. The law lets the Data Controller (the owning company) of the data to allow or disallow access, viewing and/or editing of the information about various data subjects (the person who has data about them stored outside their direct control) they own. Certain organisations are authorised to view and edit any file on the internet, such as the police, forensics agencies, the government and the secret service.There are eight principles enforced by the DPA;* Data must be kept secure;* Data stored must be relevant;* Data stored must be kept no longer than necessary;* Data stored must be kept accurate and up-to-date;* Data must be obtained and processed lawfully;* Data must be processed within the data subject rights;* Data must be obtained and specified for lawful purposes;* Data must not be transferred to countries without adequate data protection laws.These principles keep all data on the internet kept safe to the extent of how much they need to be kept safe, and have been an effective way of keeping personal data secure and unseen by unauthorised eyes.Health and SafetyComputers are physically dangerous if health and safety laws are not properly carried out.

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If you keep your computer in the bathroom or use a laptop in the bath there is the potential for the electricity flow through the water and into other parts of the circuit which can lead the computer to corrupt data and overload components, melting and blowing them up. Apart from the damage to the computer, the electricity will flow through the water and electrocute you. If it does not kill you, you will escape with nothing more than your life. This is how important the health and safety laws are. Other things such as electrical cables being left across the floor have ended up causing people to trip and land hard on the ground, with the possibility of breaking any bones, including major bones such as the skull and the spine.Computer Misuse Act (1990)The Computer Misuse Act (CMA) ensures all computer users cannot use computers for accessing files they do not have authority to access. People who gain access to any computer system and have the intent on modifying, viewing, accessing or deleting files that do not belong to them, (such as hackers or terrorists,) are breaking the Computer Misuse Act law.

Other malicious people on the internet have the unlawful intent of creating executable (.exe) files that will attack computers, called viruses. Viruses can take many forms, such as simple plain viruses, these are easy to remove and don’t usually cause much harm to a users files.

Another form of virus is a Trojan, these are more advanced viruses that enter a persons computer hiding inside another file such as a harmless bmp image file or an mp3, since these are more advanced they cause more harm and may be harder to find and remove, since they have the ability to run from the inside of a file.The next form of virus I will explain about is called a ‘worm’, the worm itself is harmless and is not usually found as a virus, but it creates viruses, and recreates them if they are deleted, making the viruses it creates near impossible to remove without removing the worm first. Some very advanced viruses called polymorph viruses have the ability to change their own programming to maximize stealth, infection and destruction. Most viruses nowadays are able to hide inside a file, infect other files, and in some cases they are a group of 2 or more worms that all create viruses and the other worms, these are almost impossible to find and remove and can be very frustrating and damaging. The CMA works to prevent such files from entering the internet and harming personal files.

CopyrightEveryone in the community must follow the laws of copyright, which state that whoever made a file (whoever recorded a video or took a picture) owns the file, and they have full rights to allow individual access to the file at a price, this applies to written work too, for example, it protects images made on computers and it also protects artwork made originally without using a computer. Due to the laws of copyright, you cannot claim you made a file that you didn’t originally make, and you cannot use any file/text you have copied in your own work unless you clearly state the origin of the file/text unless told otherwise or if you made the file/text originally. The Act protects a wide range of work, written and computer based.How the laws affect peopleI am affected by these laws in many different ways; the DPA for example protects any information about me held by different places such as my school, the hospital, the police, the library, the bank and doctors. The information must be kept secure and confidential, for instance it cannot be stored on the notice board and cannot be shown to anyone who doesn’t need to see it, and it cannot be sold to anyone.

The data must be accurate and correct, such as it cannot say I live next door to my real house. The data must be up to date, meaning if I moved house or changed phone number I would have to update the information. The data must not be sent out, so it cannot be sold to anyone or showed to anyone who does not need to see it. The data must be relevant and kept for only as long as needed, for instance the library does not need to know my weight, but my school needs to know my medical record, and any information must only be kept until it is no longer needed to be kept.

The DPA affects Mr Hulse and Mr James in a similar way. At my high school Mr Hulse is the data manager as is Mr James for his business. Both men must be registered with the data commissioner. The law means that both men must look after the information they collect and store. It means that the data they hold must abide to the 8 principles of the act. Both men also have information stored like I do; this means they have the same rights as me.The CMA helps to protect my user areas at home and school. It means that people should not attempt to access my areas and try and change my files on there.

It also means that people should not try to add viruses or Trojans onto my user areas to try and gain information about me that could be used for fraud or blackmail. It also means that I should not try and access other peoples areas to delete there information.The health and safety act means that when I am school and out and about in the community I and safe and secure. When I am at school it means that the rooms that I am in I will not suffer injury or harm. It means that there should not be tripping hazards or objects on the stairs that I could fall down. It means that the wires in the computer room are out of the way. It also means that I should take regular breaks every twenty minutes so I do not get eye strain.

The monitors have to have the ability to change the brightness and contrast. As well as being safe at school Mr Hulse is responsible for the safety of the children in his care. This means he should constantly check if there is anything in the room that is dangerous and if so do all he can to remove the danger.The copyright designs and patent act affects me when I am completing my coursework for school. It means I cannot go onto the internet and copy pictures and text and saying that the work is mine. If I should use pictures and text from the internet I should reference where I have got this information from. This law also means that I cannot go onto the internet and use peer two peer sites such as piratebay to download movies and music without paying for them.

If I want to download music I should go to sites such as Itunes and pay for the download or subscribe to a monthly contract. Mr Hulse produces resources for his lessons when he does this he must ensure that he references where he gets the information from and ensure that he has the right to do this. Mr James likes to play music from song sheets that he gets from the internet. Mr James cannot simply download the sheets from the internet without paying for them.

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