What is Computer Ethics? James Moore Essay

What is Computer Ethics? James Moore Essay

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In today’s world of connected computers, ethics has a very important role in ensuring that ICT professionals maintain their integrity. Philip Argy, the President of the Australian Computer Society was quoted saying in 2007 that ethics is “doing the right thing even when no one is looking” (Worthington 2008). James Moor, who wrote a paper titled “What is Computer Ethics?” in 1985 summarised that with computers being universal tools, it has enabled us to do things that we could have never been able to do before. Since prior to this, we could not do these tasks, it was never question whether one should use the computer to do such a task. Also, since those tasks were never been able to done prior to this, no laws or rules were present to govern these tasks. To compensate for the lack of laws, computer ethics should be present to help us decide if doing such a task is good or bad (Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy 2008). Codes of ethics and codes of conducts are usually used in company to encourage ethical behaviour among employees in an organisation. However, the way both these codes work are relatively different, in the way the regulate staff behaviour. Codes of ethics hold guidelines which are not very specific, but they give the staff a set of guidelines to enable staff to make independent judgements on the most appropriate actions, unlike the codes of conducts which are more specific on what behaviours are acceptable and what behaviours are not, resulting in it requiring less judgements from the staff, as the staff would have to follow it or face a penalty (Gillikin 2014). For this essay, I will be referring to the code of ethics released by the Australian Computer Society, called the Code of Professional Conduct. There have be...


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...s & Conduct. [online] Chron. Available at: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/difference-between-code-ethics-conduct-2724.html [Accessed 1 May. 2014].
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, (2008). Computer and Information Ethics. [online] Available at: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-computer/#DefComEth [Accessed 30 Apr. 2014].
Winterford, B. (2013). IT, corruption and ethics. [online] ITnews. Available at: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/327587,it-corruption-and-ethics.aspx/0 [Accessed 1 May. 2014].
Worthington, T. (2003). Making an Accessible and Functional Website for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. [online] Tom Worthington. Available at: http://www.tomw.net.au/2003/bws.html [Accessed 2 May. 2014].
Worthington, T. (2008). Ethics for ICT Professionals. [online] Tom Worthington. Available at: http://www.tomw.net.au/technology/it/ictethics.shtml [Accessed 30 Apr. 2014].

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