Thursday, January 12, 2017

Should software developers have a code of ethics?; CIO, 1/11/17

Sharon Florentine, CIO; 

Should software developers have a code of ethics? 

"While there are organization-- and company-specific codes of conduct -- like these guidelines from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers - Computer Science (IEEE-CS) joint task force on software engineering ethics professional practices, there's no one all-encompassing set of standards that includes the entire industry.

But maybe there should be...
Teaching people to ask the right questions involves understanding what the questions are, says Burton, and that everyone's values are different; some individuals have no problem working on software that runs nuclear reactors, or developing targeting systems for drones, or smart bombs, or military craft...
The questions should be around should it be built, what are the fail-safes, and what can we do to make sure we're having the least harmful impact we can?" he says.
There's no one "right answer" here, and a code of ethics certainly won't put all the ethical issues to rest. But it could be a good place to start if individuals and organizations want to harness the great power of technology to create solutions that serve the greater good."

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