What the ACM/IEEE code of ethicspurpose is, and does the code work in todays professional society. I willconclude by expressing my views on how to improve the code. Before I illustrate what the code of ethics describe as our standard forprofessional practice, I want to describe what the ACM/IEEE code of ethicsattempts to accomplish. The ACM/IEEE realized what a hard task it was to set ageneral Algorithm or guideline the whole field of computer science andengineering. It had to look at all aspect of this wide field starting from theindividual programmer/engineer.
Who I feel are the greatest and most influentialpart of the field, and also have the most control over the codesimplementation from a personal sense. The code needs guidelines for theprogrammers but also needs to have guidelines for the programmersrelationships with its clients, the general public, and society, and theirmanagers. It had to look inside this huge spectrum and judge how to make it allgood. Defining what is good in this field is not always that clear.
Whatis good for my employer, might not be that good for me. What might be good forthe client might not be good for society. An example of this would be: a clientasked me to make a fishing program that would take weather, time of the day,wind and water currents, and other data and tell me where the highest chances offish being in a certain area. This program would be good for my client, butobviously not good for the environment, in a sense that it is killing a lot offish. As you can see, it is contradictory for me to say what is good, because itmight not be good from another perspective. With all these pitfalls ahead it iseasy to be pessimistic about this code of ethics feasibility.
I feel that the ACMcode of ethics has two main implantations. One deals withour relationship with our employer, other employees, and our clients. It dealswith an already set standard of the business world. It explains what is expectedof us, and to us, in professional business scenario. A specific example of thiswould be: 1.
01 Accept full responsibility for your own work. Also: 3. 1 Ensureadequate testing, debugging, and review of software and related documents onyour work. Both these examples are precise clear definitions of what is expectedand their meanings arent very debatable. I know that by reading thesedeclarations what is expected of me and what I can expect from my fellowco-workers and managers.
The other dimension of the code of ethics deals with ethical judgments. Computer programmers and engineers have a significant opportunity to affect thecommunity that their product is released into. Their product may have theability to affect society in a good or even in a negative way. The code attemptsto set a standard so that engineers and programmers are driving toward abeneficial product. Its hard to define what is good and bad. We know from aphilosophical aspect what may be goods for one may be bad for another.
The Coderecognizes that and doesnt try and make their rules set in stone or basicguidelines for handling all circumstances. Instead it attempts to make us takeinto consideration the concerns of our whole society. What the best interests ofthe public, our employer, co-workers, and us would be. Because of the difficulty in defining what is good for the whole generalfield of the computer science/engineering industry there are many short falls tothis tiny document. Mainly because what is right for you my not be right in someother perspective.
The new technology might be good for a company but bad forthe environment like my example from above. Another problem with the code isthat its based solely on the individual. What if it was an unethical personwho doesnt care about anything the code represents. They dont care aboutthe way their technology might affect society, or the quality of their work. Thecode would be worthless to them, and as a result the code is worthless tosociety from his case.
Another shortcomming of this code is that its notmandatory for us to follow it. I dont have to follow the code and if I breakany rules I will receive no punishment. If a lawyer was to break his code ofethics he could loose his law license, same with doctors. Unless a companyexplicitly says the code is part of your contract, the code can be ignored. Ifthe company I worked for said nothing about my duty to following the code, Iprobably wouldnt even read the code.
Is the ACM/IEEE code of ethics having a positive affect on society ingeneral? At first guess I would say no. There is too much bad going on out therein cyber space for me to say the code has an affect on society. I back this upwith the evidence of well over ten thousand adult sites out there. One mightargue that these sites are well in our right to view and do no harm to society. I agree, but I must also point out that it is much too easy for anyone,including children, to access these explicit sites. If the webmasters werefollowing the code they would make it harder to gain access to the material.
Ifeel the same with the web hosting companies who are servers for our sites. Ifthey were following the code of ethics, they should monitor the sites theyprovide service to. They dont because the wide amount of prejudice relatedsites on the Internet such as KKK. com, nazi.
com, or rape. com. These sites mightnot actually exist as the address I specified, but we know that there are manysites out there with the same material as these. Obviously these sites would bea direct violation of the code of ethics.
I could go on and on about the amountof negative there is out there in the computer field but it just reiterates mypoint that the code of ethics is not apparent in our society. The code is strong and concrete in its purpose and reasoning. The philosophybehind the code is good. I believe for this code to be at its full potential itmust be made mandatory. By doing this it would give the code a strong clearbackbone for why its implementation must be followed.
Each individual businessshould interrupt the code in its own way. Microsoft should interpret the code ina different way than an adult site should. Any explicit site weather it beprejudice, sexual or grotesque can still follow the code and remain operational. By strengthen their access control to only mature individuals and any other wayfrom preventing children from seeing the site would make their business soundfrom the codes view.
Doctors follow a code of ethics, and yet it can be seenthat breast augmentation surgery is not the most ethical practice in some eyes.In that situation they still follow the code but just interpret in different.Thus still making the code implemented.Philosophy