This assignment has two goals: 1) have students increase their understanding of the concept of Protecting Personal Information (PPI) and other ethical issues related to the use of information technology through research, and 2) learn to correctly incorporate citations and references in APA format. Students may use the tools and techniques within Word to format the research paper, including use of the References and citation tools. These skills will be valuable throughout a student’s academic career. The paper will require a title page, NO abstract, three to four full pages of content with incorporation of a minimum of 3 external resources from credible sources and a Works Cited/References page. Wikipedia and similar general information sites, blogs or discussion groups are not considered creditable sources for a research project. No more than 10% of the paper may be in the form of a direct citation from an external source.
A list of topics from which students can choose is provided below.
Topics for Research Paper
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- Social Engineering – what it is, how it is used, and potential positive and negative impacts on individuals and on society
- Employee Monitoring – why and how it is used, the legal issues surrounding its use, and impacts on employer and employee
- Biometrics – various implementations and the ethical and privacy issues related to the use of biometrics
- What are the privacy laws related to Information Technology use and how do they impact you personally?
- Intellectual Property Rights; issues related to copyright, fair use, copyright infringement, and the potential personal and financial impacts
7. The Edward Snowden case – the dilemma between the “Official Secrets Act” versus a perceived duty to share versus the damage it may do to national security.
8. The Apple vs. FBI controversy over unlocking the iPhone
If there is another topic that addresses ethical issues as related to information technology that is of special interest to you but one that is not in the list above, request permission from your instructor before selecting this alternate topic.
Writing Quality for the Research Paper
* All Grammar, Verb Tenses, Pronouns, Spelling, Punctuation, and Writing Competency should be without error.
* Be particularly careful about mis-matching a noun and pronoun. For example, if you say “A person does this…” then do not use “their” or “they” when referring to that person. “Person” is singular; “their” or “they” is plural.
* Remember: there is not their, your is not you’re, its is not it’s, too is not to or two, site is not cite, and who should be used after an individual, not that. For example, “the person WHO made the speech” not “the person THAT made the speech.”
* In a professional paper one does not use contractions (doesn’t, don’t, etc.) and one does not use the personal I, you or your. Use the impersonal as in the previous sentence. It is more business-like to say “In a professional paper one should not use contractions,” rather than saying, “In a professional paper you don’t use contractions.”
*Remember: spell-check, then proofread. Better yet, have a friend or colleague read it before submitting it. Read it out loud to yourself. Read it as if you are submitting it to your boss.