Social Issues

Privacy

Data collection often involves accessing personal and private data by interviewing people, observing and recording their actions even without the persons knowing. They have no control over who has access to data about them and how they use it.
It has only been in recent years that pressure from consumer and privacy groups has forced government s to consider introducing data privacy laws.

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Acknowledging the data source

The sources of collected data should be identified. It is important for second-hand data to be acknowledged because:
- This gives credit to the original providers of the data
- It allows anyone relying on the information your system produces to check the accuracy of your data.

Data Accuracy and Bias

The value of an information system depends on the accuracy of the data it collects. How and where we collect the data is important in defining that accuracy.
Collected data can be biased which means they can contain errors. Bias can be deliberate as a person can write false and misleading information or it can be accidental when a person misunderstands something or the for example a data entry form can be poorly designed.

The Ergonomics of collecting data

One of the most boring and poorly paid jobs in IT is that of a data entry operator. Ergonomics involves studying many factors including:
• The design of furniture – chair, desk, keyboard and mouse
• The placement of equipment – keyboard, mouse and monitor
• Techniques used at the keyboard – wrist rests, placement of hands and typing technique
• Operator work routine- work breaks, job rotations and hours of work
• The total work environment – lighting, noise and temperature
• The design of software – ease of use, screen readability and help facilities
Creating an ergonomic work environment for collecting data is expensive, but far less expensive than the cost of time lost due to illness and work injuries, and claims for workers compensation.
EG - The standard keyboard and mouse in a home or office are not designed for long periods of use. When they are placed on a standard desk with a basic office chair, the keyboard and mouse tend to force users into making unnatural muscle movements and adopting body positions. This can result in pain and permanent damage.

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