Sign In

Communications of the ACM

Law and technology

Toward a Closer Integration of Law and Computer Science


Toward a Closer Integration of Law and Computer Science, illustration

The rate of technological change during the past few decades has been breathtaking. End users have adopted the Internet, smartphones, and tablets faster than any other consumer electronics product in history. The rapid diffusion of these technologies has transformed the way people work, shop, learn, play, and communicate.

Major technological changes inevitably have an impact on law. Just as the printing press revolutionized copyright and the telephone prompted new approaches to the Fourth Amendment, the digitization of all forms of content and the emergence of the Internet Protocol as the dominant platform for communication have led courts and legislatures to reexamine a wide range of legal issues.


Comments


CACM Administrator

The following letter was published in the Letters to the Editor in the April 2014 CACM (http://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2014/4/173227).
--CACM Administrator

In his Viewpoint "Toward a Closer Integration of Law and Computer Science" (Jan. 2014), Christopher S. Yoo raised an important point about how the law and technological change interact but emphasized only one dimension of what could be called the "social embedding" of technology. Legal concerns are an important aspect of software design, especially if the software stores and processes sensitive personal data about users. However, in order to increase the acceptability and acceptance of a software product, more aspects must be considered during development. Some (such as data privacy and usability) are well represented in most projects. Others (such as users trust in technology, incentives to participate in collective activities, inclusion of users with disabilities, and ethical and sociological challenges) have only begun to attract attention due to recent technological advancements (such as context-aware services, self-adaptive systems, and autonomously acting agents). The crucial point for software developers is these aspects of social embedding could lead to conflicting software design requirements, so should be addressed together in a systematic and integrated development process. Because society demands it, truly multidisciplinary design thinking will become increasingly important in the future.

Kurt Geihs
Kassel, Germany


Displaying 1 comment

Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.
  

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.