Notes 9

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9. Professional Ethics and Responsibilities

People who work in the computer field view themselves as professionals. In addition to requiring skills to create communications networks or write programs to control access to sensitive personal information, these people recognize that they have a responsibility for their actions like other professionals in legal and healthcare professions.

They understand that there are ethical issues that they must respect and handle appropriately.

Having professional qualifications and a code of ethics are considered by many to be important to safeguard society in a computing environment.

Video: "The Role of Technology in Society" With great power came great responsibilities. “One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men; No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man”


In this module, students

  • consider the issues associated with professional ethics and responsibilities
  • investigate simulations
  • review and summarize a previous discussion
  • work collaboratively to produce a final project paper

Study Guide: Professional Ethics and Responsibilities

These notes are guides to reading and studying the chapter of the textbook assigned for this module. Here are some questions to get you thinking about the important concepts and information.

  • What is "computer ethics"?
  • Should computer professionals have special ethics guidelines? Are they different than ethics for others not in computer-related professions? How formally should these ethics be defined? Are they more likely to be followed if they are written in detail?
  • What privacy protection is appropriate for computer professionals?
  • What are the responsibilities for computer professionals creating software that is able to save lives or kill or injure patients if it malfunctions?