Philosophy and computers do not seen like they would have much relevance to each other but in actuality they coincide with one another through ethics. Ethics are the general principles that outlines the basic standard of what is right and what is wrong. They are the moral philosophy that people live and abide by in their everyday lives. Computer ethics are a more specific realm of ethics. They are the basic principles that “regulate the use of computers” and uses computing in an appropriate manner (Computer Ethics). This include privacy concerns, intellectual property rights, and the effects of how the computer effects our society (Computer Ethics). It is important to keep and healthy learning and working environment and that is why a specific set of ethics should be followed in the computer industry.Order now
Code of Ethic
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) abides by a code of ethic which is to be followed by every member and employee of the association. There are eight outlining rules that create the overall acceptable professional work environment (Computer Ethics). These rules are not only important but should be followed in every learning, professional, or work environment. The first rule is “contribute to society and human well-being.” This rule recognize the respecting different types of people, diversity, backgrounds that are all brought together in a working environment. It also highlights the importance of respecting everyone’s ideas and avoiding any potential harm that can jeopardize the overall welfare of people. It also holds the personal responsibility of the awareness of the environment and spreading this information to others in that same environment. The next code the ACM follows is to “avoid harm to others.” Harm is referred to as more than just in a physical aspect. Harm can be information loss, viruses on computers, spreading of personal information, and anything else that can indicate danger to someone. Since technology deals with a lot of information is imperative to make sure that everyone’s information is protected at all times. The next code of ethics is about being trustworthy and honest. In a work place trust is what makes the company functional. Lots of information will be shared and swapped and that’s why it’s important to be careful of this information. The four code is “be fair and take actions not to discriminate.” Diversity is a necessary attribute to any workplace and despite anyone’s race, sexuality, disability, age, or anything else considered “different” must always be accepted and respected amongst all members (Computer Ethics).
The next code to follow deals with copyrighting. There should never be a time that any member takes credit for someone else’s work. Any violation of this rule will not be tolerated. Next is “give proper credit for intellectual property”. In every instance, when doing work that involves someone else’s material you must always give proper credit for it. Also when doing your own work be sure to patent any necessary work. The next code is respecting everyone’s privacy. This rule is important because in some cases a person can have access to personal information and in order to respect that person, one cannot look at that information. Unless there was given consent to view that information beforehand, that data must be left alone. The eighth rule is to “honor confidentiality.” This means that certain information cannot be shared with the public, even people that are close like spouses and family. As long as the company states that specific information cannot be shared, it must always be kept within proper confinements (Computer Ethics).
Personal Code of Ethics
A person’s own set of ethics defines their personality and is an accurate reflection of his or her character. A work or learning environment is when these ethics should be practiced the most and that’s why in my learning environment I practice my own set of ethics the best. My first rule that I follow is respecting myself and others around me. I try my best not to be disruptive during class and not to disrupt the teacher’s lectures. I also feel that it is important not to disrupt the others around me that are trying to learn. So I practice that by not talking to my peers and focusing on the lesson.
The next rule that I follow is to never cheat and learn the material for myself. I practice this by doing my own independent work and only getting help from my professor or an assigned tutor. Also, I do not allow anyone to copy my work and involve myself in any activity that would be considered “cheating.” The most effective way for me to learn is by figuring things out by myself and I respect my self-enough to not cheat myself out of learning experience. The third rule is the importance of copyright and intellectual property. Any time that I have a project or program I make the best effort to think and do my own ideas instead of ones that I’ve heard or looked up online. Also, when I write papers I try my best to make every sentence my own and reference or cite any work that I used in my writings.
Another rule that I have is doing my best work and every assignment that I have. Since I am paying for this education and I want to make sure that I take full advantage of every possibility. In my eyes it is knowledge is essential in order to be successful. Therefore, missing any piece of information that could potentially help me in the future is not an option. The next rule that I have for myself is to always be professional. Times have changed but first impressions are still everything. It is important to look, dress, and act in an appropriate manner when it comes to interviews or talking to someone is a professional setting. Many times people will remember you by the way you look and act so that’s why I try my best to always be presentable.
The next rule that I follow is to be an example for those younger than me. I feel that it is essential to be a role model for those younger than you. I try my best to show the freshman the importance of working hard and being active with your major. I do this in hopes that some of them will receive the opportunities that I was given. Another rule that I follow is to be responsible. Since I am a member of different clubs, I feel that it is important to make sure I take care of the things that I am assigned. I know that people depend on me for certain things so I do not one to be the person that lets the club members down. The last ethical code that I follow is helping my peers. Everyone has a different college experience and have difference in the way that they learn. So whenever there is a time that one my fellow classmates do not understand something that I do understand, I offer my assistance. I know that sometimes it is helpful for something you do not understand to be explained in a different mouth.
Case Violation 1
Although these many ethical computing rules are followed by ACM members, companies, and corporations, they are also not followed in many cases. Unfortunately, many people do not have the ethical concern to follow these rules and it leads to scams, cheating, exploitation and stealing. Just recently, a verdict has been found on what is now known as the biggest scam that India has seen so far. A man by the name of Satyam and his brother started a company in 1987 called Satyam Computer (Balachandran). It was a successful corporation raising billions of dollars and giving recognition for things like “entrepreneur of the year” and the World Cup. All was well until the board members had a falling out when trying to buy Satyam’s son company. Soon after, they were blocked from doing business with the World Bank and stocks fall to a record low and approximately 2.2 billion dollars (Balachandran) . In 2009, employees and stock holders received a letter admitting to fraud. This case is prime example of many Violations that reside in the ACM code of ethics. The first code is violates is contribute to society and human well-being. They violated this by making people lose a lot of money and leaving employees jobless. The next code that is broken is avoiding harm. People could have been harmed in the means that did not have money to do the things they were used to or property having to be given away or taken in order to make up for the money that was lost. They also were not trustworthy because they lied and scammed people to get money that was not theirs and got the money in an unacceptable way.
Case Violation 2
In 2013 twenty six year old Mathew Keys was arrested for violating the 1984 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (Chozick, Savage). The twenty six year old was working for a local news station that is owned by a company that also owns the Los Angeles Times in Sacrament, California. Keys gave a username and password to a group of hackers who then changed the title of a Los Angeles article from “Pressure Builds in House to Pass Tax-Cut Package” to “Pressure Builds in House to Elect CHIPPY 1337” which was sending a message to another hacking group. (Chozick, Savage). Of course, Keys was soon arrested and hit with multiple fines for his violation of the law. In this case, Keys violated three rules of the ACM code of ethics. The first rule Keys violates is being trustworthy. Keys did not follow this rule because he did not take care of the information that he was in charge of. The next rule that the twenty six year old violates is respecting the privacy of others. Keys gave out someone else’s personal password and username and did not have permission to do so. The last code of ethics that Keys violated is honoring confidentiality. I would assume that the username and password of whoever’s account that was given out was not to be shared with anyone other than a specific realm of people.
The ACM ethical codes are important to follow because it will create a healthy environment. Many times in the field of Computer Science, you have to work with many people and the only way to get those things done is to have a healthy environment. If people are in situations that feel uncomfortable or not welcoming, they tend to not work as well together. The ACM ethical codes help people to give a broad but accurate outline of what is wrong in right in the fields of Computing and Technology.
Association for Computing Machinery. (1992, October 16). Retrieved November 1, 2015.
Balachandra, M. (2015, April 9). The Satyam scandal: How India’s biggest corporate fraud unfolded. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
Chozick, A., & Savage, C. (2013, March 17). Hacker Case Leads to Calls for Better Law. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
Computer Ethics. (n.d.). Retrieved November 2, 2015.