Ethics And Software
During their time at the faculties, future computer engineers study mathematics, logic, the fundamentals of physics, statistics, operating systems. Language processors, programming. An extensive and rich curriculum in which ethics often takes a secondary place. Just a subject throughout a broad and demanding curriculum. When they leave the classroom and dedicate themselves to programming, a large part of them find that their work goes beyond the figures, objectives. Measurable and cold. In their day-to-day lives, they remain forced to face more complex moral dilemmas as the software gains space in society and assumes sensitive functions. Such as managing private databases or strategic information.
Situations with moral implications are more common than you might think. And they often reach depths worthy of the Socratic dialogues or Kant’s disquisitions. At the beginning of 2017, several programmers shared with Xataka some of the ethical issues they had dealt with in their companies: the development of software for the improvement of weapons used for offensive purposes. Programs for oil companies with a direct impact on environmental degradation. Or simply the design of sales websites that “pressure” users with a gradual increase in buying rates as soon as possible. The monday.com software review is absolutely amazing! It’s extremely intuitive and simple to get up and get using! The different ways that you can setup your Project Boards make it
One of the most recent examples shows the kinds of conflicts that ethical dilemmas can give rise to when the interests of companies and employees collide remain provided by Google. At the end of 2018, workers of the multinational company spoke out publicly against “Project Dragonfly,” a censored search service for the Chinese market that could also remain used for surveillance. In a letter released by Medium. Google employees are suspicious about the use that could be made of the tool and ask the leaders of the company to cancel the project. It was not the first time they had done it. Just a few months earlier, in the summer, a thousand Google workers had already signed a letter against “Project Dragonfly.”
International Ethical Codes
Over the last decades, internationally renowned organizations in the field of computing. Such as the Institute of Electrical and Microchip technology Engineers (IEEE). The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Or the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP), have developed codes of conduct for their professionals. Two decades ago, ACM and IEEE went a bit further and even agreed on a corpus for software engineers that still stands out today as one of the deontological benchmarks on an international level.
They are not the only ones. Professional associations often provide themselves with regulated guidelines. Initiative often stems from the experts’ awareness, who appreciate the responsibility of the work they do and its growing implications. The points on which they affect are integrity, transparency, sustainability, or not colliding with the public interest. Among the entities that have adopted similar guidelines in Spain are, among many others. The Professional College of Computer Engineers of Andalusia (CPIIAND). The Community of Madrid (CPIICM), Catalonia (COEInf), or the Principality of Asturias (COIIPA). They often collect – as in the case of the CPIIAND – a list of offenses and infractions.
Are These Professional Guidelines Enough?
Experts in the field warn of the growing challenges. In her essay on ethics and software, Mary Eugenia Cartaya, a graduate in Computer Science from the University of Havana. Recognizes the increasing reach of programmers but warns of ” unsuspected risks that reach all spheres of social life.” “We must stop to reflect on ethical values. Because they are present in the first connection relationship between technological development and society: man,” he says: “Given the impact of information technology in all spheres. It charges observance of ethical values is critical.”
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