SIE 525: Term Paper Instructions

SIE 525 Information Systems Law


1. Place your name, campus degree program affiliation, physical mailing address, email address and other contact information in the heading as shown in the sample paper below. After you are done writing the paper, do a word count and include that in the heading. Ask the instructor or consult the assignment or exam instructions concerning the expected length of the term paper in a specific instance. Short term papers would typically be about  5000 words. Longer assignments may typically run twice that length or longer. Do a page break after the heading information so the first page of your response contains only the heading information. This allows the instructor to read and review printouts of papers without knowing the author.

2. All material in the paper should be left justified as shown (except for long quotes that should be indented). Place double spaces between paragraphs. If you number pages, do so in the lower right corner. Do not insert any other header or footer information.

3. Please number the headings and subheadings in your paper as shown. Subheadings under major heading 1 would be 1.1, 1.2, etc. and sub headings under 1.2 would be 1.2.1, 1.2.2, etc. This numbering scheme greatly facilitates the ability to make articles available on-line because other methods of formatting are more difficult to support. Please use upper and lower case for headings and subheadings as illustrated in the example. (Note: Some assignments will NOT require an abstract or extensive headings.)

4. CITATIONS: References should be cited in the text as (last name of author, year of publication, and specific page reference unless inappropriate). Example:(Flaherty 1989, 331) If you use a short extraction from another source it must be placed in “quotes” and the source referenced with page number provided.

5. ENDNOTE REFERENCES: Use endnotes for your article rather than footnotes. A minimum of half of your references should be primary references. See the Endnote reference examples below for the forms that your references should take. If you access a published scholarly article on the web, provide the url using the form of the last provided endnote reference example below. If you access a secondary reference from the web that does not appear in the scholarly literature, provide the url in the form of author name(s), page title, website title, sponsoring institution/publisher, date published, and date accessed (e.g. the second to last endnote reference example below).

PRIMARY REFERENCES: Any of the books listed in the course bibliography may be used as a primary reference. You should also find primary references in the form of scholarly journal articles from a search of Fogler Library e-journals ( and appropriate databases ( Login using your campus password. Many of these works are unavailable on the open web. Each scholarly article you find will probably have numerous references to other valuable primary and secondary resources. I highly recommend that you consult with a reference librarian in Fogler if you experience difficulties in finding appropriate references. Further, some full-text journal articles may be available through a search of the open web or a source like the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) ( You might also want to check additional cyberlaw textbooks or textbooks appropriate to your topic since these often provide organized overviews of core principles.
SECONDARY REFERENCES: In addition to news and magazine articles, broad web wide searches may divulge sources germane to your topic. Because refereed scholarly outlets often require a year or more before the works become available, you may be able to gain contemporary insights on an issue through videos, radio programs, blogs and other electronic forums. Further, emerging business perspectives are seldom available in the scholarly literature. To find these simply search well know technology sites for video and radio programs germane to your topic (e.g. TED Talks –, Cambridge Forum-, Freakonomics Radio –, Hidden Brain -, Day 6 Public Radio International –, Technology Radio –, Technology Blogs –, top cyberlaw blogs, top intellectual property law logs, Wired, Wikipedia, etc. …. and a local Maine Radio Show at

6. Save your term paper document as an MS Word (preferred), RTF (rich text format), or text document. The name of the submitted document should include your last name (e.g. Johnson Midterm Exam). Send your completed assignment as an attachment through the appropriate link on the course Blackboard site. If you have technical problems and a deadline is imminent, ship a copy before the assigned deadline to


Note that if the following manuscript were printed on paper it would have size 12 font Times with single spacing. Left and right margins would be 1 inch with bottom and top margins of 1 inch.

Sample Paper: Protecting Personal Privacy in Using Geographic Information Systems
Harlan J. Onsrud, Jeff P. Johnson and Xavier Lopez
School of Computing and Information Science
5711 Boardman Hall, Rm. 348
University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469-5711
(207) 581-2175
(Word Count: 4,953 words)

Note: Insert here a page break

Protecting Personal Privacy in Using Geographic Information Systems


Personal privacy is a social issue of increasing relevance to the geographic information system (GIS) community. The power of GIS processing and the crossmatching of geographic datasets with other datasets are raising strong privacy concerns. This article discusses current practices and trends in the collection, maintenance, and dissemination of personal information by government and industry through the use of GIS and related technologies. It reviews the development of legal rights in privacy, discusses the societal importance of personal privacy, argues that self regulation of the use of personal information is a necessary goal for the GIS community, and describes privacy protection guidelines currently being proposed by various parties for adoption by the commercial sector and government. Finally, the article recommends specific privacy protection principles for adoption and self-imposition throughout the GIS community.


GIS forms part of the communications infrastructure that is emerging in the transition from an industrial to an information oriented society. Improved geographic information handling capabilities are continuing to find expanding applications throughout society and the eventual public and private investment in such capabilities is being estimated in many billions of dollars. Geographic information systems and their associated databases are substantially affecting the operation of government and business. The impact of the technology is immense, which places a heavy social responsibility burden on those involved with its promulgation. Along with its positive effects, the negative impacts of the technology and its associated databases need to be considered. The negative impacts …..


The ability to store and query large spatial databases is continuing to expand. Future advances in information technology, such as the National Information Infrastructure (NII) and multimedia telecommunications, are likely to further increase the availability of personal data. Yet the applicability of current privacy law within networked digital environments is far from clear.

2.1 Common Law

The legal right to privacy in the United States arose from a Harvard Law Review article written in 1890 by S. D. Warren and Louis Brandeis. Warren and Brandeis initially defined the right of privacy as the ‘right of the individual to be let alone’ and ‘the right to one’s personality’ (Warren and Brandeis 1890). Over the years …..

2.2 Legislation

In addition to judge-made law, numerous legislative enactments address privacy in the U.S. at both the federal and state levels. The major federal privacy statute is the Privacy Act of 1974. The Privacy Act (1) allows individuals to determine what records pertaining to them are being collected, maintained, or used by federal agencies, (2) allows individuals to prevent records obtained for a particular purpose from being used or made available for another purpose without their consent, (3) allows individuals to gain access to such records, make copies of them and make corrections, (4) requires agencies to ensure that any record which identifies individuals is for a necessary and lawful purpose, and (5) requires agencies to provide adequate safeguards to prevent misuse of personal information (Privacy Act of 1974). However, critics argue that the provisions of the act have been poorly enforced and adhering to privacy protection guidelines has not been a priority for federal agencies (Flaherty 1989, 331)……


Information privacy issues have regularly been publicized as unwarranted intrusions by information voyeurs peering into the personal files and lives of celebrities and politicians (Warren and Brandeis 1890, Levinson 1988, Rothfelder 1992). However, ……



The vast collection, maintenance and dissemination of personal information by government and industry has increased public suspicion that their personal information privacy is eroding. Personal privacy is an issue that will continue to grow in importance ……


This work is based upon work partially supported by the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA) under NSF grant No. SBR 88-10917. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


Berman, J. , and J. Goldman (1989). A Federal Right of Information Privacy: The Need for Reform. Washington, D.C.: The Benton Foundation.

Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984, Pub. L. No. 98-549, 98 Stat. 2779 (1984)

Council of the European Communities (1990). Proposal for a Council Directive Concerning the Protection of Individuals in Relation to the Processing of Personal Data.

Federal Trade Commission v. American Tobacco Co., 264 U.S. 298, 44 S.Ct. 336, 68 L.Ed. 696

Flaherty, David H. (1989). Protecting Privacy in Surveillance Societies. Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press.

Industrial Foundation of the South v. Texas Indus. Acc. Bd., Tex., 540 S.W.2d 668, 679.

Information Policy Online. ( 1.2 (April 1994): item 3

Levinson, Sanford (1988). “Public Lives and the Limits to Privacy.” Political Science and Politics. 21. 2: 263-280.

Privacy Act of 1974, Pub. L. No. 93-579, 88 Stat. 1896 (1974), Pub. L. No. 94-394, 90 Stat. 1198 (1976), Pub. L. No. 95-38, 91 Stat. 179 (1977), Pub. L. No. 100-503, 102 Stat. 2513 (1988)

Prosser, William L. (1960). “Privacy” California Law Review 48.3: 383-423.

Rothfeder, Jeffrey (1992). Privacy for Sale: How Computerization Has Made Everyone’s Private Life an Open Secret. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Vedantam, Shankar, Evaluating Personality Tests, Morning Edition National Public Radio, December 11, 2017, (Accessed January 20, 2017)

Warren, S.D. , and L. Brandeis (1890). “The Right to Privacy.” Harvard Law Review 4.5: 193-220. (Retrieved from