Social-Professional Aspects of Informatics



- Impact of communications and information technologies in the society

- Ethics and applied ethics related to the aspects of design, build, deployment and usage of modern communication and information systems


- Analysis of controversies and ethical impacts of communication and information technology

- Awareness on the social implications of technology

Soft Skills:

- learn how to research social sciences subjects

- oral and written presentation skills

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Vasco Miguel Moreira do Amaral


Weekly - 4

Total - 28

Teaching language



Not applicable.


Michael J. Quinn, “Ethics for the Information Age,” Pearson, 8th Edition, 2020

Each theme will be covered with more references; the appropriate place to find them is the online documentation of the course.

Teaching method

The course comprises any or all of the following: lectures, seminars conducted by instructors or invited speakers, and films (followed by debates). References to papers and themes for research will be provided to support the written group work. 

Evaluation method

Changed in agreement with the Coordinators of the MSc. programme and Pedagogical Commission.

Course final grade

Workgroup of 5 elements for two distinct topics:

     The computation of the grade parcel is the same for all group members. Each topic will include the following:

  • Report and presentation video on a topic proposed by the professor (30%) 

  • Written and Oral presentation criticizing 10 submitted works (30%)

Award for a maximum of two group members

  • Award for individual performance: 10 extra points, awarded to 1 group member or split among 2 group members.

  • Not being present at the group''s oral discussions implies losing the full grade corresponding to the oral presentation .

  • The group members choose the recipient(s) of the extra points.

Individual grade (NT)

  • Best 5 out of 6 quizzes during the semester (5%)

  • 1 closed book test (35%) [or Final Exam]

Note: all grades and intermediate grades are rounded to 1 decimal place; the final grade cannot exceed 200 points

Delays when delivering the reports or failure to show up in the debate sessions

  • Delayed reports may be accepted but incur a penalty of 10 points per day. The maximum delay is 5 days.

  • If a group member is absent in the debate session on the group''s theme, he/she will suffer a penalty of 10% (as if he/she had not contributed to the report on the group''s topic).

  • The no-show of the group for debating the other groups implies a penalty in this evaluation criteria.

 Special clause

Any student that has a final positive outcome but that has an NP ("project") grade which exceeds his/her NT grade by more than 6 points, may be invited to an oral exam test; as a result of his/her performance in that exam, the final grade (NF) may be increased or decreased, but NF will always be greater or equal to NT.

Failure to attend the oral exam reflects the acceptance, by the student, of the final grade of NF = NT

Subject matter

Introduction - an overview of the evolution of digital technology and of the social impact of technology

Morals, ethics and the law

The impact of digital communications on privacy and human interaction

Security and privacy, computer hacking, cybercrime

Intelectual property and plagiarism

Privacy and protection of individual data

The impact of the digital in the society – highlights: Internet and AI

Social networks and their social impact

Professional Ethics


Programs where the course is taught: