Introduction In this assignment, I will be explaining the legal, ethical and operational issues in relation to the use of business information. My chosen business is Sarah Bonnell School. I will also be analysing the legal, ethical and operational issues with the use of appropriate examples. Summary/conclusion will be given on what I have learnt whilst doing this task. Legal Issues Data Protection Act (1998) is one of the legislation that businesses have to follow.
According to http://ico.org.uk/for_organisations/data_protection
“If you handle personal information about individuals, you have a number of legal obligations to protect that information under the Data Protection Act 1998”.Sarah Bonnell School uses the Data Protection Act as they are not allowed to provide students and their guardians with certain information. Once a student signs their agreement of the Data Protection Act slip, it confirms that they are not allowed to provide anyone who is not working in the school with their personal information because it is risky. This is includes both electronic files (online) and paper files. Sarah Bonnell holds and process information about their staff, students and other data subjects for academic, administrative and commercial purposes. Sarah Bonnell is then not obliged to pass on any information to anybody else they will be breaking the law.
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Therefore, they have a duty to handle people’s personal details fairly and lawfully. Sarah Bonnell tries to follow this act, for example, they keep the electronic documents save by using password protection. Paper files are kept in a key and lock cabinet. They ensure people’s personal information is not lying around for anyone to have access to it. However, information can be access on a’ need to know base’. For example, if any student is in danger and police want to see information about the student, the school can give out the information.
Freedom of Information Act 2000 The freedom of information act was put in place to provide individuals or organisations with the right to request information held by a public authority. This means that the public authority must tell students whether Sarah Bonnell School holds the information. Sarah Bonnell School must provide students with the held information within 20 working days. The law obliges that any member of the general public is allowed to access to any recorded information. This act includes the right to access information held by public authorities. This is when person requests information to the public authority, the authority has to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds information of the description specified in the request, and if that is the case, to have that information communicated back to them.
- Computer Misuse Act:
The Computer Misuse Act was put in place to help stop the prevention of hackers from hacking in to computers and software’s. Sarah Bonnell School obey with this act by installing various security software to their system in order to avoid any possible hackers. The ethical issues that Sarah Bonnell has to deal with include use of emails and the internet.
The internet is a valuable source of information and resources. Examples of acceptable use include carrying out research and using authorised software and hardware for school and individual benefits. Only those with agreement may access Sarah Bonnell computing facilities. Security is maintained through the use of personal passwords which should be stored securely and changed on a regular basis. Private Use: Reasonable personal use of computing facilities is allowed where there is no conflict with school objectives and where there is no impact on work needs. All computer activity is subject to monitoring.
- E – Mail:
Sarah Bonnell School Email policies suggest that it is not wise to send confidential documents by email. This is because e – mails are not a secure system of communication. In addition to this, e – mails can be read by other people, either internal students or external.
- Information Security:
Sarah Bonnell controls information by making sure the information is secured monitored and cannot be hacked into. Sarah Bonnell School recognises that information, systems and networks are valuable resources and that the management of personal data has important suggestion for individuals. The school will facilitate the secure and continuous flow of information, both within the school and in external communications.
- Backing Up:
Sarah Bonnell has a lot of information in their system such as student and teacher files. For the amount of information and data that Sarah Bonnell School has, it is right that they should be careful and back these files up to prevent data being lost in future. Sarah Bonnell School backs up their data every hour; this is done through the IT department. They use a very trusted and high capacity system in order to keep up with the high demand of data.
- Health & Safety:
The college has to ensure that all of their students and staff are complying with the health and safety regulations. These health and safety regulations concern the use of devices that are used when using a PC. Sarah Bonnell obeys these regulations by encouraging good position to their students and staff whilst working in front of their computers. This means they should be physically ready to learn and have the right attitude when in school place. They also provide students and staff with suitable computer chairs that are adjustable for them, this means they can be comfortable and not worry about their health and safety.
- Legal Issues :
These are laws and regulations that businesses and everyone in the country must follow. Sarah Bonnell School accept by the Data Protection Act when dealing with their staff and students personal data. This is very important for a business, as people want their data to remain private. Sarah Bonnell School has a policy regarding this act whereby they make sure that all their staff and student information is safe and secure. This is a big advantage to Sarah Bonnell School as they would gain the trust of all the individuals that work or study at Sarah Bonnell. By following this act, other potential students of Sarah Bonnell School know that when they give their information to Sarah Bonnell School, it will be protected. This is also great for parents and guardians of student at Sarah Bonnell as they know they their children’s personal information will not be tampered with and instead be kept safe. However, when complying with the law, Sarah Bonnell School must ensure that they are following the law accurately. They must ensure that they only gather the information that they need from their staff and students. Under the Data Protection Act, Sarah Bonnell must only keep the information that is necessary for the business or this would mean that they can potentially be take legal action if anyone found out. They must make sure that the information they gather is kept up to date and also that the information is disposed when the business is no longer in need the information.
- Ethical Issues:
These issues regarding Sarah Bonnell are the health and safety actions that they take when operating their business. There are many benefits for Sarah Bonnell School satisfying ethical practises. Sarah Bonnell School always shows equality amongst their staff and their students. Sarah Bonnell would have satisfied employees through following these practises. If any staff or student experienced any unsuitable or unfair behaviour from another member of staff or student, a higher authority of Sarah Bonnell School would be required to deal with the situation and come up with a solution to the problem as quickly as possible. This would make staff and students feel safe as they would know that the situation is being put under control. Both staff and students of Sarah Bonnell School are told earlier of the policy that they must follow when using the internet and e-mail. The policy is to ensure that students at Sarah Bonnell School are behaving appropriately when using the internet and e-mail services or they will be punished by either being banned from using electronic equipment from the school site.
- Operational Issues:
These issues of Sarah Bonnell School include problems that may affect the way in which the business is run. Sarah Bonnell has backups so that students and staff’s information are kept safe at all times. It is essential that Sarah Bonnell has backup storage for students and staff as if anything happened to their files and documents, it would be easy to retain all their past information. This is an advantage for Sarah Bonnell as they are able to get copies of information if the original copies cannot be found. Sarah Bonnell has antivirus software that they use on their computers in order to assure that their system is not at risk of crashing and being hacked into. Other operational issues that concern Sarah Bonnell regard their employees. Employees must take lunch breaks throughout their day of teaching; this is so that their staffs have time to prepare for future lessons, relax and refresh themselves before they start teaching again.
In this assignment, I have explained and analysed the legal, ethical and operational issues that Sarah Bonnell deals with on a day to day basis. I have given examples of each issue and have written about how Sarah Bonnell uses these regulations.
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