Ethics for the IT Professional

Ethics for the IT Professional

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0237-3.ch002
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This chapter focuses on ethics for the IT professional. The learning objectives for this chapter are to understand basic ethical principles relating to IT, to develop a framework that supports making informed decisions regarding ethical problems, to apply an ethical code in typical situations, and to understand future trends relating to IT ethics. The author includes material on each of these topics and also sections with conclusions and references. After having mastered the material in this chapter, a reader will have a much-better understanding of ethical principles relating to the IT profession. But, more importantly, a reader will be able to make practical use of that knowledge by applying it in the workplace to solve ethical dilemmas.
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Code Of Ethics


Our goal in this section is to describe the well-known Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (ACM, 1992). We call this document the “Code” for short. This Code is widely accepted in the IT community and has been developed, refined, and applied over many years. Other ethical codes contain similar directives, so in understanding the Code one will have a good handle on understanding other ethical codes. The Code is divided into four parts. It consists of eight ethical standards, a set of nine principles that all computing professionals are to follow, a group of six statements pertaining to those in leadership roles, and two statements about expected compliance with the Code. In the next four sections we go over these four parts of the code. Our main focus will be on sections 1, 2, and 4 of the Code. We start with the ethical standards from the Code.

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