Social and Economic Effects of IT

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Social and Economic Effects of IT

Before the industrial revolution nearly everyone worked in

agriculture. Communication was by word of mouth or paper. When the

industrial revolution came, life became more complicated. People

started to work in factories and the factories needed offices to deal

with administration. The amount of paperwork needed to trade started

to increase. As time went on, technology was used to develop machines

such as the typewriter, telephone and telex machines and eventually,

the computer. We are now in an 'information age' and our society is

very dependent on information storage and communication. Many are now

using some form of information technology to help them.

Is information technology a good thing?

Some arguments for and against IT are given below. You may agree or

disagree with these.

Arguments in favour

· The jobs replaced by computers are the rather mundane ones. People

are free to do more interesting tasks.

· Higher productivity enables people to work fewer hours and yet have

the same standard of living. A greater amount of leisure time will

improve people's quality of life.

· Other countries make use of IT. If we did not, our goods and

services would become uncompetitive and there would be even more


· There are many tasks that would be impossible without the use of IT.

Air-traffic control, credit cards, space travel and medical research

are just some examples.

· New jobs are being created by the introduction of IT e.g.

programming, network managing etc.

Arguments against

· Life without IT is slower and less stressful.

· Computers are cheaper...

... middle of paper ...

... · There is a risk that illegal access to the PNC could allow people

outside the police force to gain information.

· There are worries that the running of the PNC will be passed over to

a private company. The PNC contains criminal records, details of

wanted or dangerous people, disqualified drivers, stolen cars and guns

and also the records of 30 million motorists. Some files indicate that

a person is HIV positive. In addition to all this there are details of

70,000 people of 'long-term interest' held. The concern is that a

private company running the PNC would not be trusted as much as the

police and people could be reluctant to pass information to the PNC.

· Information on the PNC might be incorrect and this could stop

someone getting a job or could even result in a person being wrongly

arrested for a crime.
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