tential impacts on all those affected by
decisions. When harm is an intentional
part of the system, those responsible
are obligated to ensure that the harm is
ethically justified and to minimize unintended harm.
To minimize the possibility of indirectly harming others, computing
professionals should follow generally
accepted best practices. Additionally,
the consequences of emergent systems
and data aggregation should be carefully analyzed. Those involved with pervasive or infrastructure systems should
also consider Principle 3. 7.
A computing professional has an additional obligation to report any signs
of system risks that might result in
harm. If leaders do not act to curtail or
mitigate such risks, it may be necessary
to “blow the whistle” to reduce potential harm. However, capricious or misguided reporting of risks can itself be
harmful. Before reporting risks, a computing professional should thoroughly
assess all relevant aspects.
1. 3 Be honest and trustworthy.
Honesty is an essential component
of trust. A computing professional
should be transparent and provide full
disclosure of all pertinent system limitations and potential problems. Making deliberately false or misleading
claims, fabricating or falsifying data,
and other dishonest conduct are violations of the Code.
Computing professionals should
be honest about their qualifications,
and about any limitations in competence to complete a task. Computing
professionals should be forthright
about any circumstances that might
lead to conflicts of interest or otherwise
tend to undermine the independence
of their judgment.
Computing professionals often belong to organizations associated with
their work. They should not misrepresent any organization’s policies or
procedures, and should not speak on
behalf of an organization unless authorized to do so.
1. 4 Be fair and take action
not to discriminate.
The values of equality, tolerance, re-
spect for others, and justice govern
this principle. Computing profession-
als should strive to build diverse teams
and create safe, inclusive spaces for all
people, including those of underrepre-
sented backgrounds. Prejudicial dis-
crimination on the basis of age, color,
disability, ethnicity, family status, gen-
der identity, labor union membership,
military status, national origin, race, re-
ligion or belief, sex, sexual orientation,
or any other inappropriate factor is an
explicit violation of the Code. Harass-
ment, including sexual harassment, is
a form of discrimination that limits fair
access to the virtual and physical spac-
es where such harassment takes place.
Inequities between individuals or
different groups of people may result
from the use or misuse of information and technology. Technologies and
practices should be as inclusive and accessible as possible. Failure to design
for inclusiveness and accessibility may
constitute unfair discrimination.
1. 5 Respect the work required to
produce new ideas, inventions, creative
works, and computing artifacts.
Developing new ideas, inventions, creative works, and computing artifacts
creates value for society, and those who
expend this effort should expect to gain
value from their work. Computing professionals should therefore provide appropriate credit to the creators of ideas
or work. This may be in the form of
respecting authorship, copyrights, patents, trade secrets, license agreements,
or other methods of assigning credit
where it is due.
Both custom and the law recognize
that some exceptions to a creator’s
control of a work are necessary for the
public good. Computing professionals should not unduly oppose reasonable uses of their intellectual works.
Efforts to help others by contributing
time and energy to projects that help
society illustrate a positive aspect of
this principle. Such efforts include
free and open source software and
other work put into the public domain.
Some work contributes to or comprises
shared community resources. Computing professionals should avoid misap-propriation of these resources.
1. 6 Respect privacy.
The responsibility of respecting privacy
applies to computing professionals in
a particularly profound way. Therefore,
a computing professional should be-
The Code is
designed to support
anyone who uses
an impactful way.