Revision for professional issues in computing

This is for my last exam which is tomorrow – the blogging my revision trick seemed to work quite well for PAWS so lets see how I get on with PIC. A lot of this is cut and paste so most links will be to where ever the information has been taken – if anyone has issue with it being here just drop me a line and I’ll remove the post.. heh.. Now that’s professional.. *grin*

Professional issues in computing

Long questions:

1. You have been asked by your manager to develop a website, but the specification you receive makes no provision for accessibility. Write a memorandum to your manager explaining what needs to be added to the specification, and why this should be done.

Re: website specification.
The lack of accessibility provision has been noted and this employee feels it would benefit you to add this important aspect for the following reasons:

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) recognizes Web accessibility as a basic human right.

The UK Disability Discrimination Act makes it unlawful for a service provider to discriminate against a disabled person by refusing to provide any service which it provides to members of the public and specifically with regards to websites:

  • 5.23 (p71): “For people with visual impairments, the range of auxiliary aids or services which it might be reasonable to provide to ensure that services are accessible might include … accessible websites.”
  • 5.26 (p68): “For people with hearing disabilities, the range of auxiliary aids or services which it might be reasonable to provide to ensure that services are accessible might include … accessible websites.”


While accessibility focuses on people with disabilities, it also benefits older users, mobile phone users, and other individuals. Older users with age-related accessibility needs are an increasingly important customer base for most organizations, as the percentage of older users is increasing significantly.

Those aged 55+, are set to overtake 35-44 year olds as the demographic age group representing the largest share of UK Internet visits. Those aged 55+ represented 22.0% of UK visits to all categories of websites in the four weeks to 12th May 2007, up 54% since 2005 and 40% since 2006. This compares to 23.5% of Internet visits from 35-44 year olds.


Legalities aside, common sense dictates that making the website accessible (and therefore easier to navigate/ access material) to the largest online demographic alongside mobile phone users and people with disabilities will make it more accessible for people without those problems.

Organizations with accessible websites also benefit from search engine optimization (SEO), reduced legal risk, demonstration of corporate social responsibility (CSR), and increased customer loyalty.

(Developing a Web Accessibility Business Case for Your Organization, S.L. Henry and A.M.J. Arch, eds. World Wide Web Consortium (MIT, ERCIM, Keio), June 2009.

Adherence to the w3c web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG 2.0 is strongly recommended as an addition to the current specification.

2. You have been asked to manage the sending out a questionnaire relating to the requirements of a web site your employer is developing. You will also be responsible for producing a series of reports from the response. What professional and ethical issues should you take into account when doing this?

Adherence to the 8 core principles of the data protection act (1998) is paramount:

  1. Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully
  2. Personal data shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes, and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or other purposes
  3. Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the
    purpose or purposes for which they are processed
  4. Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary kept up to date (with every
    reasonable step being taken to ensure that data that are inaccurate or incomplete,
    having regard to the purpose(s) for which they were collected or for which they are being further processed, are erased or rectified)
  5. Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes
  6. Personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects under this Act
  7. Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against
    unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data
  8. Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the
    European Economic Area unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data.
  • Transparency – ensuring individuals have a very clear and unambiguous understanding of the purpose(s) for collecting the data and how it will be used;
  • Consent – at the time that the data is collected, individuals must give their consent to their data being collected, and also at this time, have the opportunity to opt out of any subsequent uses of the data.


Take on board the conduct codes and recommendations of marketing research bodies such as MRS and ESOMAR and consider where your sample base will be taken from (online panel, customer database etc) and the implications of using such contact information under the relevant acts of law.

For surveys completed online, respondents must be told about the length of time the questionnaire is likely to take to complete under normal circumstances (e.g. assuming connection is maintained).
The use of some form of metering device so that respondents can track their progress through the questionnaire is recommended.
Respondents should be informed if they have the option of completing the questionnaire at a time convenient to them within the schedule dictated by the time frame of the study. Beyond this, suitable technical measures should be implemented, where appropriate, allowing respondents not to answer particular questions (but to proceed with the rest of the interview) and to interrupt and subsequently return to the interview at any time.

It must be remembered that a respondent’s e-mail address is personal data where it refers to a data subject and therefore needs to be protected in the same way as other identifiers.

ESOMAR does not prescribe a mandatory minimum set of background variables that should be recorded about each active panel member. However, the following variables all have valuable roles in strategies to avoid duplication or clarify individual identity, stratification of samples for research projects, and weighting strategies to counter heavy user bias:

  • Sex
  • Level of education
  • Household size
  • Region
  • Location (postal code + house number)
  • Age (date of birth)
  • Presence of children in household
  • Working status
  • Weight of internet usage (hours per week)
  • Type of internet access

Short questions

Codes of conduct:



ARrrrgh! you see why my head hurts? roll on Friday and it will all be over – until next year.

One thought on “Revision for professional issues in computing

  1. Vics Post author

    hmmm.. p’raps messing with the theme css would be best left until after my exams.. sorry guys i know it’s a bit of a retina bleeder right now – will get on it next week *kiss*

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