Do computer scientists need a code of ethics like the ACM code? “Seek not the answers, but to understand the questions.” Do computer scientists need a code of ethics like the ACM code? Do computer scientists need a code of ethics like the ACM code? Do computer scientists need a code of ethics like the ACM code? Do computer scientists need a code of ethics like the ACM code? Are computer professionals special? Do Computer Professionals Have Special Responsibilities? Gotterbarn (1999) believes that because software engineers and their teams are have significant opportunities to: (i) do good or cause harm (ii) enable others to do good or cause harm (iii) influence others to do good or cause harm. Critical-Safety Software Gotterbarn suggests that the roles and responsibilities involved in the development of safety-critical systems is a differentiating factor. A "safety-critical system" = computer system that can have a direct life-threatening impact. aircraft and air traffic control systems mass transportation systems nuclear reactors missile systems and medical treatment systems. design of bridges and buildings; election of water disposal sites; development of analytical models for medical treatment. Professional Codes of Ethics Many professions have established professional societies, which have adopted codes of conduct. AMA (American Medical Association) ABA (American Bar Association). Two computing professional societies The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) The Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers – Computer Society (IEEE-CS) Do computer scientists need a code of ethics like the ACM code? Purpose of codes of ethics? Know the 4 primary functions Gotterbarn in Tavani Codes of… Ethics Practice Conduct Do computer scientists need a code of ethics like the ACM code? What is the ACM code like? Sections? As opposed to…? Other codes of ethics? For example? Other professional codes? For example? ACM Code of Ethics and Conduct §1 GENERAL MORAL IMPERATIVES 1.1 Contribute to society and human well-being. 1.2 Avoid harm to others. 1.3 Be honest and trustworthy. 1.4 Be fair and take action not to discriminate. 1.5 Honor property rights including copyrights and patent. 1.6 Give proper credit for intellectual property. 1.7 Respect the privacy of others. 1.8 Honor confidentiality. §2 MORE SPECIFIC PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES. As an ACM computing professional I will .... 2.1 Strive to achieve the highest quality, effectiveness and dignity in both the process and products of professional work. 2.2 Acquire and maintain professional competence. 2.3 Know and respect existing laws pertaining to professional work. 2.4 Accept and provide appropriate professional review. 2.5 Give comprehensive and thorough evaluations of computer systems and their impacts, including analysis of possible risks. 2.6 Honor contracts, agreements, and assigned responsibilities. 2.7 Improve public understanding of computing and its consequences. 2.8 Access computing and communication resources only when authorized to do so. §3 ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP IMPERATIVES. As an ACM member and an organizational leader, I will .... 3.1 Articulate social responsibilities of members of an organizational unit and encourage full acceptance of those responsibilities. 3.2 Manage personnel and resources to design and build information systems that enhance the quality of working life. 3.3 Acknowledge and support proper and authorized uses of an organization's computing and communication resources. 3.4 Ensure that users and those who will be affected by a system have their needs clearly articulated during the assessment and design of requirements; later the system must be validated to meet requirements. 3.5 Articulate and support policies that protect the dignity of users and others affected by a computing system. 3.6 Create opportunities for members of the organization to learn the principles and limitations of computer systems. ACM 3. ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP IMPERATIVES. BACKGROUND NOTE: This section draws extensively from the draft of IFIP (International Federation for Information Processing) Code of Ethics, especially its sections on organizational ethics and international concerns. The ethical obligations of organizations tend to be neglected in most codes of professional conduct, perhaps because these codes are written from the perspective of the individual member. This dilemma is addressed by stating these imperatives from the perspective of the organizational leader. In this context "leader" is viewed as any organizational member who has leadership or educational responsibilities. These imperatives generally may apply to organizations as well as their leaders. In this context "organizations" are corporations, government agencies, and other "employers," as well as volunteer professional organizations. (emphasis added) Progress towards a World-Wide Code of Conduct by John A. N. Lee and Jacques Berleur http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~cs3604/lib/WorldCodes/Gatlinburg.html §4 COMPLIANCE WITH THE CODE. As an ACM member I will .... 4.1 Uphold and promote the principles of this Code. 4.2 Treat violations of this code as inconsistent with membership in the ACM. IEEE Code of Ethics 1. to accept responsibility in making engineering decisions consistent with the safety, health and welfare of the public, and to disclose promptly factors that might endanger the public or the environment; 2. to avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest whenever possible, and to disclose them to affected parties when they do exist; 3. to be honest and realistic in stating claims or estimates based on available data; 4. to reject bribery in all its forms; 5. to improve the understanding of technology, its appropriate application, and potential consequences; IEEE Code of Ethics (continued) 6. to maintain and improve our technical competence and to undertake technological tasks for others only if qualified by training or experience, or after full disclosure of pertinent limitations; 7. to seek, accept, and offer honest criticism of technical work, to acknowledge and correct errors, and to credit properly the contributions of others; 8. to treat fairly all persons regardless of such factors as race, religion, gender, disability, age, or national origin; 9. to avoid injuring others, their property, reputation, or employment by false or malicious action; 10. to assist colleagues and co-workers in their professional development and to support them in following this code of ethics. KNOW !!! 4 Primary functions of codes of Ethics Difference between codes Ethics, Practice, and Conduct Name the 4 sections of the ACM Code Be able to identify the section in which a statement appears in the ACM Code Whether a statement is from ACM or IEEE code Criticisms of Codes of Ethics Strengths and weaknesses of codes of ethics Criticisms of Ethical Codes Ladd (1995) argues that ethical codes rest on a series of confusions that are both "intellectual and moral." His argument has three main points. First, ethics is basically an "open-ended, reflective, and critical intellectual activity.“ Second, codes introduce confusions with respect to micro-ethics vs. macro-ethics. Third, giving codes a disciplinary function makes them more like legal than ethical rules. In Defense of Professional Codes Gotterbarn argues that we need to distinguish between: Codes of ethics - "aspirational," because they often serve as mission statements for the profession and thus can provide vision and objectives. Codes of conduct - oriented more toward the professional and the professional's attitude and behavior. Codes of practice - relate to operational activities within a profession. Purpose of Professional Codes Professional codes of ethics are often designed to motivate members of an association to behave in certain ways. Four primary functions of codes are to: inspire guide educate discipline the members. Table 4-1: Some Strengths and Weaknesses of Professional Codes Strengths Weaknesses Codes inspire the members of a profession to behave ethically. Directives included in many codes tend to be too general and too vague. Codes guide the members of a profession in ethical choices. Codes are not always helpful when two or more directives conflict. Codes educate the members of a profession about their professional obligations. A professional code’s directives are never complete or exhaustive. Codes discipline members when they violate one or more of the code’s directives. Codes are ineffective (have no “teeth”) in disciplinary matters. Codes “sensitize” members of a profession to ethical issues and alert them to ethical aspects they otherwise might overlook. Codes do not help us distinguish between microethics issues and macro-ethics issues. Codes inform the public about the nature and roles of the profession. Directives in codes are sometimes inconsistent with one another. Codes enhance the profession in the eyes of the public. Codes can be self-serving for the profession.