Information Technology in a Global Society

ITGS textbook cover Information Technology in a Global Society for the IB Diploma is the first textbook designed specifically for the IB ITGS course. Unlike the general computer science textbooks currently used by many ITGS teachers, this book is written specifically with the IB ITGS course requirements in mind, and covers all components of the new ITGS syllabus (first exams May 2012), including the Higher Level (HL) topics. It is fully illustrated with over 300 photographs, diagrams, and charts.

The book is available from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and a variety of book shops.

This site supports the book with additional lesson plans, exercises, links to useful software, and other ITGS teaching resources. You can also view a detailed table of contents and download a free sample chapter.


Latest updates

Ethical use

The Ethics of Facial Recognition Software

This article starts with a discussion of 'celebrity recognition software', which builds upon facial recognition systems. However, the great thing about this article is the numerous links to related articles, covering everything from the risk of hacking facial recognition systems to a set of proposed ethical guidelines for companies using facial recognition.


Updated: 2019-08-19
Ethical facial recognition

How To Run An Ethical IT Shop

This article from Microsoft highlights some best practices for companies who are considering implementing facial recognition technology in the workplace. It is easy to imagine how the SEACS shops would need to consider some of these.


Updated: 2019-08-19
China

Facial recognition in China

Big Brother facial recognition needs ethical regulations discusses the rampant use of facial recognition technology in China. This includes a huge range of facial recognition technologies for everything from traffic cameras to public toilets. How China Is Using A.I. to Profile a Minority explains how the technology can be used to discriminate against (in this case) Muslim minorities. In China, Facial Recognition Tech Is Watching You is another article on this theme, which even includes the use of AI-powered sunglasses by police officers. These are three truly frightening articles that highlight the potential for misuse and abuse of technologies such as facial recognition.


Updated: 2019-08-19
ACM Ethics

The ACM Code of Ethics

The ACM Code of Ethics is explicitly mentioned in the case study booklet. This code provides guidance for professionals who work in the computing industry; respecting privacy is one of its key requirements.


Updated: 2019-08-19
Future applications

The Verge reports that the US plans to implement facial recognition technology at its top 20 airports for all international passengers, with the aim of improving security and efficiency. Forbes and CNET articles both question whether we should be concerned about this technology and its effects on privacy.


Updated: 2019-08-19
How facial recognition works

  • How Facial Recognition Works. HowStuffWorks is a go-to site for understanding more about many technologies. Its pages on facial recognition technology have a great level of detail, explaining the different factors that are used to take measurements and how templates are constructed. This is an essential read for the 2020 case study.

Updated: 2019-08-19
Applications of facial recognition technology

  • FaceFirst offers 'real time facial recognition' technology. Their website offers some interesting case studies highlighting the use of their products - such as reducing retail theft in stores and catching wanted criminals. As you might imagine, the website focuses solely on the positives of facial recognition technology, but it is still an essential read to understand the technology and how it might develop in the future.
  • Cognitec offer a range of facial recognition applications. These include security, law enforcement, and border control. However, the applications that stood out to me were those under the 'commercial' heading. Intelligent signage and VIP recognition could definitely be something that SEACS implement in their coffee shops.
  • Dynamic Imaging's Positive ID+ website focuses on the use of facial recognition technology to match images from crime scene videos to static photos in offender databases. It is easy to see how SEACS might implement a similar technology to (for example) recognise their customers as they enter a shop.
  • Face Plus is another facial recognition company. Their website contains a set of good images to help students understand the biometric process. One thing which stood out for me was the section of the site titled 'Image editing', which "edit probe images to perform a more effective facial recognition search". I found myself asking how this might affect the validity of the search and comparison.

Updated: 2019-08-19
Facial recognition technology

  • Meadowhall shoppers scanned in facial recognition trial is a very recent (August 2019) article about the trial of facial recognition technology at a large shopping centre (mall) in the UK. Notably, this trial was conducted without the consent of the shoppers involved.
  • Data regulator probes King's Cross facial recognition tech. Similar to the article above, facial recognition technology was used in an area of London without informing the public or obtaining their consent. This seems to fly in the face of UK law, and the company is currently being investigated by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).
  • EFF, The Electronic Frontier Foundation, has an excellent page on facial recognition technology which covers how the technology works, its uses, and some very interesting potential problems. The article makes excellent background reading for the case study.

Updated: 2019-08-19
You can view previous updates to the website here.