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    AS Module 1 Information: Nature, Role and Context

    10.1 Knowledge, Information and Data

    • Understand the distinction between knowledge, information and data.
    • Information has context and its meaning is determined by thatcontext.
    • Understand the nature of data, e.g. recorded facts, events or transactions.
    • Understand the different ways in which data can arise: direct capture or as a by-product of another operation.
    • Describe the effect of the quality of the data source on the information produced.
    • Understand the need to encode information as data.
    • Understand the problems associated with the coding of value judgements.

    10.2 Value and Importance of Information

    • Understand that information is a commodity and as such, can have a monetary value, the level of which depends on its accuracy, its potential use and its particular intended use.
    • Describe the overheads involved in ensuring that information is up-to-date and of use to an organisation/individual.

    10.3 Control of Information

    • Describe the legal rights and obligations on holders of personal datato permit access.
    • Understand that the sale of entitlement to access to data may mean paying for a more convenient form of access, the right of which already exists.
    • Understand that files on individuals and on organisations that are non-disclosable have commercial value.

    10.4 Capabilities and Limitations of Information and Communication Technology

    • Understand that ICT systems offer fast repetitive processing, vast storage capability and the facility to search and combine data in many
      different ways that would otherwise be impossible.
    • Understand that the response speed of technology within ICT systems facilitates the use of feedback, e.g. maintenance of optimum
      stock levels, electronic fund/money management systems.
    • Understand that there are limitations in the use of ICT systems and in the information they produce.
    • Factors could include limitations in hardware, software and communications, in addition to inappropriate data models and data control mechanisms.

    10.5 The Social Impact of Information and Communication Technology

    • Explain the benefits and drawbacks of the use of information and communication technology in manufacturing, industry, commerce,
      medicine, the home, education and teleworking.

    10.6 Role of Communication Systems

    • Explain the use of global communications between single or multiple sources and recipients, including public networks such as the Internet.
    • Describe the hardware, software and services required to access the Internet.
    • Describe the facilities offered and the relative merits of: telephone, fax, e-mail, teleconferencing, viewdata, teletext, remote databases and other relevant communication systems.
    • Explain the use of the Internet for a range of activities including communication, information searching and information publication.
    • Candidates should be aware of the recent developments in the area of communication systems.

    10.7 Information and the Professional

    • Recall the personal qualities and general characteristics necessary for a person to work effectively within the ICT industry and as part of an ICT team.

    10.8 Information Systems Malpractice and Crime

    • Explain the consequences of malpractice and crime on information systems.
    • Describe the possible weak points within information technology systems.
    • Describe the measures that can be taken to protect information technology systems against internal and external threats.
    • Describe the particular issues surrounding access to, and use of the Internet, e.g. censorship, security, ethics.

    10.9 The Legal Framework

    • This section applies to current British legislation and its relationship to the Council of Europe Convention directives.
    • Software and data misuse Describe the provisions of the Computer Misuse Act.
    • Describe the principles of software copyright and licensing agreements.
    • Data protection legislation Recall the nature, purpose and provisions of the current data protection legislation of the Public Register.
    • Recall the type of data covered and various exemptions from the legislation.
    • Recall the definitions of processing and consent to process.
    • Explain how the requirements of the legislation impact on data collection and use.
    • Describe the obligations of data users under the legislation.
    • Recall the rights of individuals under the legislation.
    • Recall the role of the Commissioner in encouraging good practice, acting as Ombudsman and enforcing legislation.
    • Health and safety Describe the provisions of the current health and safety legislation in relation to the use of information systems.
    • Recognise that health and safety guidelines cover the design and introduction of new software.

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