Databases Social and Ethical Implications and Discussion

Databases! Public Databases! Oh no!

Security and Integrity affect databases in general, as the databases all depend on accurate data. The most up-to-date data could be the difference between having to spend time in jail – or not. Duplicate names, lack of updating, are just some reasons why databases that store thousands of records can cause such mayhem.

The databases in this blog post are all public – anyone and everyone can retrieve data from them. This may impact a company or someone’s life which could mean that their privacy is being invaded. These public databases are openly labeling companies or people and that may feel quite scare – especially if you were on there! Even though this may seem like a disadvantage, it could also be an advantage if you look at it from the other side: As the public have access to your records, they are able to apply societal pressure to maintain and upkeep society (Bruce Schneier – “Liars and Outliers”)

 

Terrorist Screening Database

Stakeholders: FBI, Congressman, Public

Social impacts and ethical implications: Database was not up to date; Integrity, People and Machines,

IT System: Private Government Database

Integrity of data input and information output: Terrorist Screening Database –  No-Fly list and selectee list.

Input: Personal Data of each person

Output: Cannot fly.

The problem highlighted in the article was the congressman had the same name as a potential terrorist.

This quote from Hina Shamsi summarizes this issue: “It can be very hard for people who lack resources and knowledge of the system to even begin to know how to challenge it when it is so unfair,”. She means that people who have inadequate knowledge of the database and rules that place them in it, have very little power to argue against being removed from the database.

Future steps for this database:

  • Shut down and delete whole database
  • Ensure certain policies and standards were added to improve data integrity and security
  • Update and ensure certain technical systems are added to the system shown to improve data integrity and security
  • keep the database and system it is fine as it is

 

Information is Beautiful – Worlds Biggest Data Breaches

 

 

Stakeholders (Healthcare): Government and public, bank (if finance was involved)

Stakeholders (Airlines): Airlines, public, banks

Large Volume of people have been affected due to breaches in the system.

Social impacts and ethical implications: People and Machines, Security, Privacy, Reliability

IT system: Private Health and Airline Databases

Input: Patient Data; Passenger Data

Output: Patient Data; Passenger Data

 

Future steps for this database:

  • Shut down and delete whole database
  • Ensure certain policies and standards were added to improve data integrity and security
  • Update and ensure certain technical systems are added to the system shown to improve data integrity and security
  • keep the database and system it is fine as it is

 

Land Matrix Website for Low and Middle-Income Countries

Stakeholders: Companies, Nations

Social impacts and ethical implications: Privacy, Integrity, Globalization

IT system: Public Land Matrix Database showing spatial distribution of land deal locations

Input: Trade deals of each nation

Output: Number of trade deals of each nation

Future steps for this database:

  • Shut down and delete whole database
  • Ensure certain policies and standards were added to improve data integrity and security
  • Update and ensure certain technical systems are added to the system shown to improve data integrity and security
  • Keep the database and system it is fine as it is

 

Queensland Police Service Crime Website

Stakeholders: Queensland Police, Criminals and Public

Social impacts and ethical implications: Privacy, Integrity, Security

IT system: Public Police Crime Database

Input: Criminal Data such as Type of Offence and Location and Time of Day

Output: Numbers of criminals (Can be filtered by type of offence)

Future steps for this database:

  • Shut down and delete whole database
  • Ensure certain policies and standards were added to improve data integrity and security
  • Update and ensure certain technical systems are added to the system shown to improve data integrity and security
  • Keep the database and system it is fine as it is

 

North Carolina Criminal Offender Database

Stakeholders: North Carolina Police, Criminals and Public

Social impacts and ethical implications: Privacy, Integrity, Security

IT system: Public Police Crime Database (To search for specific criminals)

Input: Criminal Data such as Type of Offence and Offender Number and Race and Birth Date

Output: Numbers of criminals (Can be filtered by type of offence)

Lots of personal information needed for each criminal. This could have consequences for family related to these criminals as this could decrease their reputation publicly. An advantage is that the family that have their family member in this database, can monitor them and know what their specific sentence is, clarifying for any reasons.

Future steps for this database:

  • Shut down and delete whole database
  • Ensure certain policies and standards were added to improve data integrity and security
  • Update and ensure certain technical systems are added to the system shown to improve data integrity and security
  • Keep the database and system it is fine as it is

 

Family Watching

Stakeholders: American Police, Criminals (specifically sex offenders) and Public (safety)

Social impacts and ethical implications: Privacy, Integrity, Security

IT system: Public Police Crime Database (To search for specific sex offenders)

Input: Criminal Names, age, address and photo

Output: All criminals that fit search filter (Can be filtered by type location, name)

The database contains a lot of repeated names and it could have a potential of keeping names of sex offenders who have passed away or are no longer sex offenders. This could seriously affect the sex offenders as they have committed something in the past and now they are unable to erase it (unless they contact administrator), this could prohibit them from getting a job or other consequences (such as being caught again, even if they did nothing wrong). Do they have the right to have their past erased?

Future steps for this database:

  • Shut down and delete whole database
  • Ensure certain policies and standards were added to improve data integrity and security
  • Update and ensure certain technical systems are added to the system shown to improve data integrity and security
  • keep the database and system it is fine as it is

 

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