The Role of Innovation in Society

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The software I use most frequently is Microsoft Office. One of end-user license agreement conditions that strikes me is the scope of license conditions for the software. This agreement states that the software is licensed and not sold, and the agreement only accords the user some rights to use the software (Microsoft). I believe this is wrong. Once the user has purchased the software and the accompanying license, it should be his or her property and they should have the freedom to do whatever they wish with it. The condition should be applicable to the free versions of the application which the user has not paid for. The agreement also prohibits the user from working around any technical challenges in the application.

            The second condition that I find striking is that the software collects the user’s personal information. If the computer is connected to the internet, some aspect of the software may connect to the computer systems of the service provider to transmit or receive information. The user may not be notified when such connections are made. If the user chooses to use any of the mentioned features, then they agree to transmit or receive information. I think this law infringes on the privacy of individuals and their human rights. Users must be informed that their personal information will be used and how this information will be used. This will give users the chance to make a decision whether to authorize the collection of their personal information or refuse. The company states that the information collected from the users is used to perform upgrades on the system. However, it is hard to know exactly whether the other aspects of the information gathered are used correctly as well.

Discussion 2

            Inventions surround us in all manner of aspects. The communication systems we use are based on innovation, our cars run software that is based on innovation, and almost all devices in our lives contain software. In the recent past, some incidents have occurred which showed the dangers and issues related to technological innovations (Lowe). For instance, huge volumes of customer data have been stolen in the recent past from some of the world-renowned companies such as Sony, eBay, and several others. These scandals should not be blamed on the developers of the software because they did not intend bad motives when initially creating the software.

            I find the first discussion more compelling. Many inventions are created with the primary objective of simplifying the way certain activities are performed. Thus, the creator of the invention originally has good intentions when creating the inventions. However, some bad people may find loopholes in the innovations and use them to commit a crime or do bad things. If this happens, the creator does not bear any moral responsibility for how their invention is used because they did not initially make them be used negatively.

            One of the codes of conduct from application developers is to desist from creating software that is aimed at violating civil liberties and human rights. The innovator does not have the power to control his or her innovation once it is released into the market. However, they still have a responsibility to comprehend the probability of the software to violate the rights of individuals before implementing it. If the projects that they are working on have this capability, then they should reject them straight away.

Works Cited

Microsoft. “Microsoft Software License Terms.” Microsoft, 20017,

Lowe, Nils. ”Our Responsibility as Software Developers.” InfoQ, 2015,

September 11, 2023


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