Privacy, Trust and Security in Information Systems

Individual Assignment (70% of unit mark)

The purpose of the assignment is to allow you to acquire some specialized knowledge by applying what is covered in the course and extending your knowledge of the subject through your own work. It is designed to encourage you to see the application of the general concepts in the wider social and business culture and to examine that culture’s assumptions.

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The essay should not exceed 2500 words, excluding the references list and diagrams. No extensions of this word limit will be accepted.

It must take the following form:

Identify a news article on a subject which is relevant to some part of the content of the unit. Explain the issue that you think the article is raising the values expressed within it. This might be the values the writers appears to hold or the values held by people being interviewed or quoted. Discuss the issue in the context of the wider academic work on the subject. This discussion might:

  • Show the issue to be more complex than the article suggests.
  • Demonstrate a variety of perspectives that show alternative ways the subject of the article could be addressed.
  • Show how academic ideas are confirmed or thrown into question by events described in the article.

Possible types of subject:

  • A new form of information technology that may have an impact on privacy or security.
  • An institution that uses information in a particular way – does this affect the levels of trust in that institution?
  • A security breach in a particular situation.
  • A business use of information, e.g. for marketing, customer service, process management, human resources, etc.
  • A policy debate, eg on data collection, regulation or security.
  • Any of the above happening in a particular country – how far do theories of national cultures explain the outcomes?

Possible types of source:

  • National newspapers.
  • The technology press.
  • The trade press, e.g. marketing-specific journals or journals specific to a whole industry.
  • Weekly/monthly periodicals, e.g. Wired, Prospect.

Mechanism for interim feedback

A Moodle Workshop will be created in November – you should put into that facility a link to the article you propose to use with a short description of the issue you think it raises. Feedback will be provided by the unit convener and by one other student. This means you should also provide some feedback to one of your fellow students. Anyone who fails to provide feedback to a fellow-student will have their mark for the final submission reduced by 5.

If you encounter an awkward paywall for the article you want to use, try seeing if there is a link to the publication in the library catalogue. If that doesn’t work, try the Nexis database of newspaper articles, which is available via the library catalogue.

Summative Feedback

An annotated copy of the essay, together with feedback against the assessment criteria will be provided via Moodle.

The marking criteria used are in Moodle.

Overall feedback will come via Moodle within 3 semester weeks, i.e. by the end of the examination period.

Format

While this is not a conventional general essay, it does require the discussion of ideas in an essay style.

There is a Moodle guide to essay writing at Topic 2 of the Academic Writing course: http://moodle.bath.ac.uk/mod/imscp/view.php?id=183199 .

Referencing properly is a requirement.

Within the School of Management, it is recommended that the Harvard method is used.

Further information on referencing work and plagiarism can be found on

http://www.bath.ac.uk/library/infoskills/referencing-plagiarism/ .

Recommended reading for the various subjects on the course is available in the course outline in Moodle.

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