The most shining example of how the data protection act has affected data users is seen on every form we fill in, weather it is a piece of paper or an online submission. The data user is forced to ask us if we want our information to be used or shared with other companies and organisations. We, the data subject, have the option to say yes or no but care should be taken as these questions are often in ‘small print’ and can be worded very awkwardly. Computer Misuse Act The computer misuse act deals with crimes relating to the misuse of computing equipment, such as hardware and software, rather than the data held by them.
It is there to protect the general public and organisations alike, against the likes of computer hacker’s etc. A person is guilty if they do anything to change the contents on a computer and they know what they are doing at the time. This act has an effect on both the data user and data subject, as it is there to protect them both from unauthorised use of their information, while it is held within a computer system. However it could also be used against people who don’t even know they are committing a crime.
A person ‘could’ gain access to information they are not supposed to through no fault of their own. Copyright Act The copyright act provides protection for authors of “original works of authorship”. This can include anything from music to art to software. The act basically says that nothing can be done with the work of authorship without the authors express permission. This has become especially prevalent in recent times with the massive use of the Internet. File sharing programs and the availability of imagery, music and software make it very easy to abuse this act.
Data users and subjects both need to be very careful when producing public documents, such as leaflets, magazines or even WebPages if they have used the internet for any kind of research. 2. 3 The effectiveness of an information system can be judged by the degree to which it enables correct decisions to be made resulting in the required outcome. Write brief notes on how you could evaluate the effectiveness of an information system making particular reference to the criteria that you would choose to measure effectiveness.
Does the solution provided, deal with and cover all of the initial system requirements as laid down by the user and agreed to by he systems analyst, if not, why not? In most cases the initial requirements will have been fulfilled, and others will have been added, as user requirements tend to grow with a project. If it is discovered that a requirement has not been addressed during this process then it should be dealt with as soon as possible at no extra cost, as this could be the source of any subsequent problems. User Opinions
At some stage after implementation, a survey should be taken across the whole company at all levels to gauge individual user opinions of the information system. It should pose questions such as: Does the new information system make your job any easier? Does the new information system make your decision making process any more efficient?? Etc. etc. The responses to such a survey are bound to be broad and varied, maybe even colourful, but it will give a good overall view of how effective the new system is. A survey like this becomes even more effective when conducted more than once at appropriate intervals, as opinions may change over time.
Volume of Problems Most information system implementations will have a period of warranty, where the systems analysts, designers and programmers will provide support to the users of the system. This will nearly always come in the form of a helpdesk where users can call a number and get immediate support for the problem they are facing. The volume of calls and variety of problems would be an excellent measure of how well a system is working as well as how effective the user training has been. Financial Gain 99% of systems are implemented to create some sort of long-term financial gain through greater efficiency.
This may be visible in the short term via the need for less manpower, however in most cases this is something which will need to be measured over a long period of time, against the cost of implementation. If there is no significant financial gain or worse, a loss of money then the system is not doing its job. Summary It is clear to see that data and information are very valuable commodities and should be used and managed appropriately. When using computers to manage data, companies and organisations must ensure the correct hardware; software, networks, databases and security measures are in place to protect the structure of their business.
One decision can make or break an organisation so it vitally important that the information used to make such decisions is accurate, relevant, timely and secure. It is also vital to consider the cost of information management. I work for a global company who, within the last four years, spent i?? 44 million pounds on a new system, which has been upgraded twice since the initial go live. That sort of money could financially ‘kill’ smaller companies, but we must ask the question, will they survive without spending it? After all, “You’ve gotta spend money to make money!!! “