review their personal data and correct
Only the minimum amount of personal information necessary should be
collected in a system. The retention and
disposal periods for that information
should be clearly defined and enforced,
and personal information gathered for
a specific purpose should not be used
for other purposes without consent of
When data collections are merged,
ACM members should take special care
for privacy. Individuals may be readily identifiable when several data collections are merged, even though those individuals are not identifiable in any one
of those collections in isolation.
1. 7 Honor confidentiality.
The ethical obligation for confidentiality holds unless discharged from such
obligations by bona fide requirements
of law or by other principles of this
User data observed during the normal duties of system operation and
maintenance must be treated with strict
confidentiality, except in cases where it
is evidence for the violation of law, organizational regulations, or this Code.
In these cases, the nature or contents
of that information must be disclosed
only to appropriate authorities.
2. MORE SPECIFIC PROFESSIONAL
As an ACM member with professional
responsibilities I will....
2. 1 Strive to achieve the highest quality
in both the process and products of pro-
Computing professionals should insist
on high quality work from themselves
and from colleagues. Professionals must
be cognizant of the serious negative consequences that may result from poor
quality. High quality includes respecting
the dignity of employers, colleagues, clients, users, and anyone effected either
directly or indirectly by the work.
2. 2 Maintain high standards of profes-
sional competence, conduct, and ethi-
High-quality computing depends on individuals who take personal and organizational responsibility for acquiring and
maintaining professional competence.
Professional competence includes
technical knowledge, awareness of the
social context in which the work will be
deployed, and competence in recognizing and navigating ethical challenges.
Upgrading necessary skills should be
ongoing and should include independent study, seminars, conferences, and
other informal or formal education. The
ACM is committed to encouraging and
facilitating those activities.
2. 3 Know, respect, and apply existing
laws pertaining to professional work.
ACM members must obey existing local, state, province, national, and international laws unless there is a compelling ethical justification not to do so.
Policies and procedures of the organizations in which one participates must
also be obeyed, but compliance must
be balanced with the recognition that
sometimes existing laws and rules are
immoral or inappropriate and, therefore, must be challenged. Violation of
a law or regulation may be ethical when
that law or rule has inadequate moral
basis or when it conflicts with another
law judged to be more important. If one
decides to violate a law or rule because
it is viewed as unethical, or for any other
reason, one must fully accept responsibility for one’s actions and for the consequences.
2. 4 Accept and provide appropriate pro-
Quality professional work in computing depends on professional reviewing
and critiquing. Whenever appropriate,
individual members should seek and
utilize peer review, and should provide
constructive, critical review of the work
2. 5 Give comprehensive and thorough
evaluations of computer systems and
their impacts, including analysis of pos-
ACM members must strive to be perceptive, thorough, and objective when evaluating, recommending, and presenting
system descriptions and alternatives.
Computing professionals are in a position of special trust, and therefore have
a special responsibility to provide objective, credible evaluations to employers,
clients, users, and the public. When
providing evaluations the professional
must also identify any relevant conflicts
Codes, if carefully
can be powerful
when striving for