Information Law and Ethics


• Understand the key concepts and theories on the Information Society
• Critically analyze the impact of the Information Society and the resulting ethical challenges for information professionals
• Identify legal and ethical issues that arise in the process of creating, processing and use of information
• Understand the major ethical theories and develop the ability to reflect the moral issues in a rational and reasoned manner
• Apply ethical and legal principles in everyday practices of information professionals
• To demonstrate the social responsibility of information professionals in contemporary society
• Create an ethical and socially committed information services
• Promote the development of active citizens and participatory communities in different information services.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Available soon


Weekly - 3 letivas + 1 tutorial

Total - Available soon

Teaching language




Ascensão, J. O. (2008) Direito da sociedade da informação. Coimbra: Coimbra Editora.
CooK, M. (2006) Professional ethics and practice in archives and records management in a human rights context. Journal of the Society of Archivists. [Em linha]. 27 (1), p. 115.
Feather, J. (2008)The information society: A study of continuity and change. London: Facet.
Froelich, T. J. (2004) A Brief History of Information Ethics. Textos Universitaris de Biblioteconomia i Documentació (BiD) [Em linha]. Nº 13.
Himma, K.; Tavani, H. T. (2008)The Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics. New Jersey: Wiley.
ISO/TMB Working Group on Social Responsibility (2010) ISO 26000: Guidance on social responsibility.
Reynolds, G.W (2012) Ethics in information technology. 4 ed. Boston: Cengage
Trabuco, C. (2006) O direito de reprodução de obras literárias e artísticas no ambiente digital. Coimbra: Coimbra Editora.
Venâncio, P. D.Lei do cibercrime: anotada e comentada. Coimbra: Coimbra Editora, 2011.

Teaching method

The seminar will be developed through classroom lectures, tutorials and independent work of students with theoretical and practical nature, consisting of a first moment of theoretical exposition of themes, concepts and vocabulary specific area, followed by practical exercises, oral presentations and discussions participated by the students.
The schedule of classes and practical activities of the evaluation will be defined as well as the set of required readings. The tutorials are aimed to promote independent learning of students, ensuring personal attention to the research work on interim steps, to discuss the methodological choices.

Evaluation method

The evaluation will be based on the following weighting:
Individual written work (5000 words), oral presentation (40%);
Oral presentation of texts (20%) and reviews (10%) in the classroom;
Analysis of a case or specific issue, 1000 to 1500 words (20%);
Participation in activities proposed in class (10%).

Subject matter

1 Law and Ethics in the context of Information Science: Theoretical Perspectives
1.1. Ethical and legal responsability of information professionals: impacts, economic, social, labor and cultural
1.2. Codes of ethics of information professionals
2. Legal and Ethical Issues in the information lifecycle
2.1 Freedom of expression and Intellectual Property
2.2 Authenticity and plagiarism
2.3 Access to information and censorship
2.4 Illegal content and protection of minors
2.5 Privacy, confidentiality and protection of personal data
2.6 Cultural diversity and social inclusion
2.7 Internet and dissemination of information
2.8 Transparency and safety
2.9 Social Networks
2:10 Computer Crime
2:11 cyberspace regulation
3. Professional information and social responsibility
3.1. Principles of social responsibility
3.2. Social responsibility in information services.


Programs where the course is taught: