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Computing Academy GCSE Computer Science

Further Considerations

Further Considerations Environmental Considerations Each year the computer systems we use consume millions of Gigawatt Hours (GWh) of energy, and millions more GWh of energy are used on air conditioning in order to ensure that those systems stay cool. The average lifespan of a computer system - whether that be a smartphone, laptop, tablet or desktop - is 3 years. These computer systems contain lots of toxic materials such as mercury and radioactive isotopes, all of which ends up in landfill. Power consumption and waste due to computer systems is a big problem for which we do not yet have a solution 21

Ethical Considerations While legalities refer to what you can or can’t do under law, ethics is concerned with fairness; what it right and wrong. Doing something that is ethically wrong does not necessarily mean that it is against the law. Should you wish to, you could setup a business offering to design websites for customers even though you don’t really know how to create websites. Ethically, you should not do this as it’s wrong and you won’t be able to produce good quality websites for your customers; yet while ethically wrong, this would not be illegal. Legal Considerations As our use of computer systems increases, so does the range of laws and legislation to control and govern our use of these systems. The Data Protection Act (1998) is a law in place to protect people’s privacy and state what can and cannot be done with data collected about individuals. The Computer Misuse Act (1990) concerns unauthorised access to and improper use of computer systems. Task 1 Think about 3 more activities or actions involving the use of computer systems that could be considered ethically wrong. 22

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