Technology and Society
Technology is the total collection of any systems, techniques, processes, or skills used in the achievement of goals, for instance scientific research, or in the creation of new products or services. It can also be a social system, used to promote social good, technology integration, or to protect or defend technology itself. This book explores the relationship between technology and society. Specifically, it focuses on the use and misuse of technology in public, private, and organizational settings.
Technology has become an important part of daily life. Almost everyone has some type of technology implanted in their everyday lives, from mobile phones to computers to televisions. There are also more “peripheral” technologies, including medical devices, clothing, appliances, transportation systems, desktop PCs, office supplies, radio and television equipment, video games, watches, musical instruments, and many other electronic items. Because technology affects nearly every aspect of our lives, society owes it to everyone to examine how technology influences public policy, society, business, education, health, safety, and culture. Technology pervades our work lives, as well as our leisure time. In addition, many individuals and organizations rely on technology in order to communicate with others.
A closer examination of how technology is regulated by society reveals that technological systems and activities are governed by a number of factors, including legal considerations, the nature of technological systems, the degree of dependence on technology, and the degree of societal trust and reliance on technology. For instance, there are laws that govern how cell phone companies store records, restrict access to the Internet, and track customer usage. There are also laws concerning the protection of intellectual property, copyright, trademarks, and trade secrets. Similarly, there are rules concerning the distribution of information, broadcasting programs, and Internet pornography. There are rules regarding the protection of automotive parts, food labels, computer software, and other industries.