Ethical codes in Information Technology31/07/2022 0 By indiafreenotes
“Harm” means negative consequences, especially when those consequences are significant and unjust. Examples of harm include unjustified physical or mental injury, unjustified destruction or disclosure of information, and unjustified damage to property, reputation, and the environment. This list is not exhaustive.
Well-intended actions, including those that accomplish assigned duties, may lead to harm. When that harm is unintended, those responsible are obliged to undo or mitigate the harm as much as possible. Avoiding harm begins with careful consideration of potential impacts on all those affected by decisions. When harm is an intentional part of the system, those responsible are obligated to ensure that the harm is ethically justified. In either case, ensure that all harm is minimized.
To minimize the possibility of indirectly or unintentionally harming others, computing professionals should follow generally accepted best practices unless there is a compelling ethical reason to do otherwise. Additionally, the consequences of data aggregation and emergent properties of systems should be carefully analyzed. Those involved with pervasive or infrastructure systems should also consider Principle.
Be fair and take action not to discriminate
The values of equality, tolerance, respect for others, and justice govern this principle. Fairness requires that even careful decision processes provide some avenue for redress of grievances.
Computing professionals should foster fair participation of all people, including those of underrepresented groups. Prejudicial discrimination on the basis of age, color, disability, ethnicity, family status, gender identity, labor union membership, military status, nationality, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, or any other inappropriate factor is an explicit violation of the Code. Harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying, and other abuses of power and authority, is a form of discrimination that, amongst other harms, limits fair access to the virtual and physical spaces where such harassment takes place.
The use of information and technology may cause new, or enhance existing, inequities. Technologies and practices should be as inclusive and accessible as possible and computing professionals should take action to avoid creating systems or technologies that disenfranchise or oppress people. Failure to design for inclusiveness and accessibility may constitute unfair discrimination.
Be honest and trustworthy
Honesty is an essential component of trustworthiness. A computing professional should be transparent and provide full disclosure of all pertinent system capabilities, limitations, and potential problems to the appropriate parties. Making deliberately false or misleading claims, fabricating or falsifying data, offering or accepting bribes, and other dishonest conduct are violations of the Code.
Computing professionals should be honest about their qualifications, and about any limitations in their competence to complete a task. Computing professionals should be forthright about any circumstances that might lead to either real or perceived conflicts of interest or otherwise tend to undermine the independence of their judgment. Furthermore, commitments should be honored.
The responsibility of respecting privacy applies to computing professionals in a particularly profound way. Technology enables the collection, monitoring, and exchange of personal information quickly, inexpensively, and often without the knowledge of the people affected. Therefore, a computing professional should become conversant in the various definitions and forms of privacy and should understand the rights and responsibilities associated with the collection and use of personal information.
Computing professionals should only use personal information for legitimate ends and without violating the rights of individuals and groups. This requires taking precautions to prevent re-identification of anonymized data or unauthorized data collection, ensuring the accuracy of data, understanding the provenance of the data, and protecting it from unauthorized access and accidental disclosure. Computing professionals should establish transparent policies and procedures that allow individuals to understand what data is being collected and how it is being used, to give informed consent for automatic data collection, and to review, obtain, correct inaccuracies in, and delete their personal data.
Know and respect existing rules pertaining to professional work
“Rules” here include local, regional, national, and international laws and regulations, as well as any policies and procedures of the organizations to which the professional belongs. Computing professionals must abide by these rules unless there is a compelling ethical justification to do otherwise. Rules that are judged unethical should be challenged. A rule may be unethical when it has an inadequate moral basis or causes recognizable harm. A computing professional should consider challenging the rule through existing channels before violating the rule. A computing professional who decides to violate a rule because it is unethical, or for any other reason, must consider potential consequences and accept responsibility for that action.
Maintain high standards of professional competence, conduct, and ethical practice
High quality computing depends on individuals and teams who take personal and group responsibility for acquiring and maintaining professional competence. Professional competence starts with technical knowledge and with awareness of the social context in which their work may be deployed. Professional competence also requires skill in communication, in reflective analysis, and in recognizing and navigating ethical challenges. Upgrading skills should be an ongoing process and might include independent study, attending conferences or seminars, and other informal or formal education. Professional organizations and employers should encourage and facilitate these activities.
Foster public awareness and understanding of computing, related technologies, and their consequences
As appropriate to the context and one’s abilities, computing professionals should share technical knowledge with the public, foster awareness of computing, and encourage understanding of computing. These communications with the public should be clear, respectful, and welcoming. Important issues include the impacts of computer systems, their limitations, their vulnerabilities, and the opportunities that they present. Additionally, a computing professional should respectfully address inaccurate or misleading information related to computing.
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)
- Click to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)