There is no single law or set of laws that comprehensively covers everything related to computers, the internet and information technology. Instead, IT managers must be aware of a number of different laws that each touch on elements of technology relevant to their jobs. In 2008, the White House identified “at least 34 federal laws, regulations, and mandatory standards that pertain to securing privately owned IT systems and data.”
IT managers should be aware of aspects of many different laws; these can be grouped into three broad categories.
Perhaps most relevant to IT managers, IT law concerns itself primarily with the security, ownership and use of data. IT law encompasses intellectual property and copyright law, as they pertain both to commercial software that a company might use and also to proprietary software or information that a company might own.
IT managers might be tasked with keeping various kinds of data secure; they must be aware of different aspects of financial law as well as law dictating the security of information about children, foreign nationals, healthcare information and other types of sensitive data. IT law encompasses state and local regulations, laws regarding security breaches, electronic signature law, privacy law and laws governing electronic commerce.
Most aspects of IT law apply to the internet, but internet law also focuses on issues of free speech and privacy. IT managers should be aware of the protections afforded to employees under the law and must be careful not to violate them. Yet they must also be aware of the liability a company can face when individual employees break internet law. Censorship is an important component of internet law, particularly for employers who are concerned with how their employees might represent them.
Internet law encompasses laws regarding access to and usage of the internet; net neutrality laws dictate what internet users can and cannot access on the internet. Should a crime be committed, internet law addresses jurisdiction.
Computer law is a collection of laws and statutes that govern what constitutes misuse of computer technology. Much of computer law deals with data theft and interception, telecommunications laws, dishonesty regarding electronic communications, unauthorized use of computers and laws concerning the retention and monitoring of network data.
You can learn about cyber law, regulations and compliance with an online master’s degree in IT management from Campbellsville University. Take the next step in your IT career with our fully online program.