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Chapter 4 Computer Ethics
Computer Ethics o Ethics n o Pertaining to right or wrong in conduct Ethical n In accordance with the rules or standards for right conduct or practice, especially the standards of a profession. n The rules of conduct recognized in a particular class of human actions.
Computer Ethics … o The overriding principles are- o fairness o integrity o openness o responsibility o commitment to accuracy and truth o Members of a profession should act always for the maintenance for the community, rather than for sectional interests
Computer Ethics … o This includes the exposure of hypocrisy, falsehoods or double standards. o Members should seek to present fair, balanced and accurate material. o Confidentiality must be protected at all costs.
Computer Ethics … o Fair and honest means should be used to obtain material, including information. Misrepresentations and the user of concealed equipment or surveillance devices should be avoided. o Members of an organization should have equal opportunity to develop their skills. o The employer organization is obliged to provide a healthy and safe working environment.
Computer Ethics … o Activities outside work hours may be seen to have an impact on the individual’s or the employer organization. o No person should be harassed or discriminated against on grounds of gender, color, race, nationality, religious belief, impairment, age, height, weight, marital status, appearance or sexual preference. o Managers or others with access to personal information relating to other members are required to treat such information as confidential, and not to disclose such information except in the course of discharging formal responsibilities.
Computer Ethics … o Members should not use their position to obtain private benefit for themselves or others. o Members should not be influenced by family or other personal relationships. o Members should be alert to conflict of interests which may arise and declare to a senior person or officer any real or perceived conflict of interest which arises or is foreseen.
Computer Ethics … o Members engaged in the development of software or hardware or communications or other Information Technology facility and who believe they have a interest on such development, maintenance, or installation should acknowledge such interest. o Members in doubt as to whether a conflict of interest exists should consult a senior officer. o No payment, gift or other advantage which may be seen to undermine accuracy, fairness or independence is to be accepted.
Computer Ethics … o Other people’s material is not to be reproduced without reference and acknowledgement. o The source of material obtained form another organization should be acknowledged.
Areas of Ethical Problems o o o o o Personal intrusion Privacy Morality Deception Security Resources Intellectual property Inappropriate use Technology and social responsibility
Computer Ethics Issues: Examples o Computers in the Workplace o Computer Crime o Privacy and Anonymity o Intellectual Property o Professional Responsibility o Globalization
The ACM Code of Conduct o According to the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) code, a computing professional: o o o o Contributes to society and human well-being Avoids harm to others Is honest and trustworthy Is fair and takes action not to discriminate Honors property rights, including copyrights and patents Gives proper credit when using the intellectual property of others Respects other individuals’ rights to privacy Honors confidentiality
The need for a code of ethical conduct o Business ethics o Plagiarism o Cybersquatting
Levels of Computer Ethics Three “Levels” of Computer Ethics 1. Pop computer ethics 2. Para computer ethics 3. Theoretical / Professional computer ethics
Levels of Computer Ethics. . 1. Pop computer ethics q This is the overall goal of what some call “pop” computer ethics. Newspapers, magazines and TV news programs have engaged increasingly in computer ethics of this sort. Every week, there are news stories about computer viruses, or software ownership law suits, or computer-aided bank robbery, or harmful computer malfunctions, or computerized weapons, etc. q As the social impact of information technology grows, such articles will proliferate. That is good. The public at large should be sensitized to the fact that computer technology can threaten human values as well as advance them.
Levels of Computer Ethics. . 2. Para computer ethics q The second “level” of computer ethics can be called “para” computer ethics. Someone who takes a special interest in computer ethics cases, collects examples, clarifies them, looks for similarities and differences, reads related works, attends relevant events, and so on, is learning “para” computer ethics. q By analogy with a para medic – who is not a physician, but who does have some technical medical knowledge – a “para” computer ethicist is not a professional ethicist, but does have some relevant special knowledge.
Levels of Computer Ethics. . 2. Para computer ethics q A para medic, of course, cannot do all that a physician does, but he or she can make preliminary medical assessments, administer first aid and provide rudimentary medical assistance. Similarly, a “para” computer ethicist does not attempt to apply the tools and procedures of a professional philosopher or lawyer or social scientist. Rather, he or she makes preliminary assessments and identifications of computer ethics cases, compares them with others, suggests possible analyses.
Levels of Computer Ethics. . 3. Theoretical / Professional computer ethics q The third level of computer ethics I call “theoretical / professional” computer ethics, because it applies scholarly theories to computer ethics cases and concepts. Someone proficient in “theoretical” computer ethics would be able not only to identify, clarify, compare and contrast computer ethics cases; she or he could also apply theories and tools from philosophy, social science or law in order to deepen our understanding of the issues. Such “theoretical” computer ethics is normally taught in college-level courses with titles like “Computer Ethics, ” “Computers and Society, ” “Computers and the Law. ”