Computer Ethics

and related issues

Computer systems raise ethical issues that are not part of law.

For instance, a company that has employed a large amount of people for years look into investing in a computer system that could do half of there jobs for free.

This system can work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without having a break, without sickness, absences or overtime, and all without pay other than maintenance.

From a business point of view it makes sense to install the new system. But ethically the company can't just "get rid" of hundreds of workers. There is laws in which the company must follow if they wish to get rid of workers , but some companies may choose to go beyond those from an ethical point of view no matter the consequence.

Professional organisations such as the IEEE** and the ACM*** recognise that engineers have an obligation to act in an ethical manner when designing or developing computer systems.

They have put together a set of 8 principles as a guide:

: Software engineers shall act consistently with the public interest.

CLIENT: Software engineers shall act in a manner that is in the best interests of their client and employer, consistent with the public interest.

: Software engineers shall ensure that their products and related modifications meet the highest professional standards possible.

T: Software engineers shall maintain integrity and independence in their professional judgment.

T: Software engineering managers and leaders shall subscribe to and promote an ethical approach to the management of software development and maintenance.

: Software engineers shall advance the integrity and reputation of the profession consistent with the public interest.

: Software engineers shall be fair to and supportive of their colleagues.

: Software engineers shall participate in lifelong learning regarding the practice of their profession and shall promote an ethical approach to the practice of the profession.