CISB 412Social and Professional Issues Professional Ethics
Reference • Materials used in this presentation are extracted mainly from the following texts, unless stated otherwise. Michael J. Quinn “Ethics for the Information Age”, 3rd edition. Pearson 2009
Learning Outcomes• At the end of this lesson you should be able to • Identify and describe the need for professional code of ethics • Describe whistleblowing from the stance of organization and moral • Apply the ethical principles based on the IT professional code of conducts to establish morality of the action
A Profession• Is a vocation that requires a high level of education and practical experience in the field• Professionals have a special obligation to ensure their actions are for the good of those who depend on them• Moral choices made by professionals have a strong impact on the society
Professional Associations/Societies• What is : Professional society is an organization promoting the welfare of the profession• Reason : Professionals need to gain trust from the public on the competence and integrity, an affiliation to a professional society helps to achieve this• Professional society ▫ establishes code of ethics for practice and also for moral decision makings in relation to the practice ▫ supports their members ▫ also ensure that professional standards are up held
Professional Associations/Societies • Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) • Australian Computer Society (ACS) • British Computer Society • Computer Society of India • International Programmers Guild • Singapore Computer Society (SCS) • Malaysian National Computer Confederation (MNCC)
Professional Associations Codes ofConductAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)• Some examples: ▫ Avoid harm to others. ▫ Be fair and take action not to discriminate. ▫ Honor property rights. ▫ Give proper credit for intellectual property. ▫ Respect the privacy of others. ▫ Honor confidentiality.
Professional Associations Codes ofConductAustralian Computer Society• Some examples: ▫ Priorities: I must place the interests of the community above those of personal or sectional interests. ▫ Professional Development: I must enhance my own professional development, and that of my colleagues, employees and students. ▫ Priorities: I must endeavour to preserve the integrity and security of the information of others ▫ IT Profession: I must not attempt to enhance my own reputation at the expense of anothers reputation.
Professional Associations Codes ofConductBritish Computer Society• Some examples ▫ In your professional role you shall have regard for the public health, safety and environment. ▫ If in doubt over the appropriate course of action to take in particular circumstances you should seek the counsel of a peer or colleague.
Software Engineering as a profession• Two largest organizations supporting the computing field are the IEEE computer society (IEEE-CS) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).• In 1993, IEEE-CS and ACM set up a joint steering committee to explore the establishment of software engineering as a profession• In 1999 IEEE-CS and ACM established ‘The Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice’
Software Engineering as a professionSoftware engineers are those who contribute bydirect participation or by teaching to theanalysis, specification, design, development,certification, maintenance and testing ofsoftware systems
Software Engineering as a profession• Software engineering = a profession ▫ Software engineers have opportunities to do good or do harm ▫ Software engineers ought to be committed to doing good ▫ Concern for the public interest is paramount
The Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice• The Code contains 8 principles• Related to the behaviour and decisions made by professionals software engineers including: ▫ Practitioners ▫ Educators ▫ Managers ▫ Supervisors ▫ Policymakers ▫ Trainees/Students
The Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice PRINCIPLE 1 – PUBLICSoftware engineers shall act consistently with the public interest
The Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice PRINCIPLE 2 – CLIENT AND EMPLOYERSoftware engineers shall act in a manner that in the best interests of their clients and employer, consistent with the public interest
The Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice PRINCIPLE 3 – PRODUCTSoftware engineers shall ensure that theirproducts and related modifications meet the highest professional standards possible
The Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice PRINCIPLE 4 – JUDGEMENTSoftware engineers shall maintain integrity and independence in their professional judgement
The Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice PRINCIPLE 5 – MANAGEMENTSoftware engineers shall subscribe to and promote an ethical approach to the management of software development and maintenance
The Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice PRINCIPLE 6 – PROFESSIONSoftware engineers shall advance the integrity and reputation consistent with the public interest
The Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice PRINCIPLE 7 – COLLEAGUESSoftware engineers shall be fair to and supportive of their colleagues
The Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice PRINCIPLE 8 – SELFSoftware engineers shall participate in lifelong learning regarding the practice of their profession and shall promote an ethical approach to the practice of the profession
Whistle Blowing• What is whistle blowing? ▫ It is when an employee decides to inform on illegal and/or unethical practices in the office. ▫ A whistleblower is a person who believes that his or her organization is engaged in or willfully permits unethical, unlawful or otherwise reprehensible activities. ▫ Whistleblowers bring attention to the objectionable activity and attempt to effect change.
Whistle Blowing ▫ Whistleblowers generally report these actions internally and may ultimately resort to reporting the activities to external authorities or interested parties. ▫ Although some whistleblowers are praised for their actions, many face many forms of direct and organizational retribution.
Motives of Whistleblowers• People become whistleblowers for different reasons• Morality of action may depend on motives ▫ Good motive Desire to help the public ▫ Questionable motives Retaliation Avoiding punishment
Whistleblowing as OrganizationalFailure • Whistleblowing harms organization ▫ Bad publicity ▫ Ruined careers ▫ Erodes team spirit • Whistleblowing harms whistleblower ▫ Retaliation ▫ Estrangement • Organizations should improve communication
Whistleblowing as Moral Duty• Richard DeGeorge’s questions for whistle blowing 1. Is serious harm to the public at stake? 2. Have you told your manager? 3. Have you tried every possible inside channel? 4. Do you have persuasive documented evidence? 5. Are you sure whistle blowing will work?• Under what conditions must you blow the whistle? ▫ DeGeorge: If all five conditions are met ▫ Others: If conditions 1-3 are met ▫ Still others: Whistle blowing is never morally required
Whistle Blowing - Situational FactorsOther factors to consider : ▫ Will the reporting result in a corrective action? ▫ The current rank and position of the offender. ▫ The availability of options in dealing with the misconduct (getting another job, written anonymous letters etc.) ▫ The amount of investments that the offender and the observer has in the company. ▫ The legal ramification that the observer has if he/she doesnt report the misconduct.
Jane, a statistical database programmer, is trying to write a large statisticalprogram needed by her company. Programmers in this company are encouragedto write about their work and to publish their algorithms in professional journals.After months of tedious programming, Jane has found herself stuck on severalparts of the program. Her manager, not recognizing the complexity of the problem,wants the job completed within the next few days. Not knowing how to solve theproblems, Jane remembers that a coworker had given her source codes from hiscurrent work and from an early version of a commercial software packagedeveloped at another company. On studying these programs, she sees two areas ofcode which could be directly incorporated into her own program. She usessegments of code from both her coworker and the commercial software, but doesnot tell anyone or mention it in the documentation. She completes the project andturns it in a day ahead of time.•Discuss and justify your stand using ONE (1) ethical principle of your choice insupporting Jane’s action.• Discuss and justify your stand using ONE (1) ethical principle of your choice inchallenging Jane’s action.