DMU academic helps draft new code setting ethical benchmark around the world

A De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) academic is helping to draft a new code that will be used as the benchmark for ethical standards in computing and engineering around the world.

Dr Catherine Flick is part of a team writing a revised Code of Ethics for the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) the international body for professionals who make, use, teach about and study computing.


The last code was written in 1992, when the most popular home computer had a memory of just 9MB and Google had not been invented.

Dr Flick, Senior Lecturer in Computing & Social Responsibility, said: “Many of the technological and societal issues which we have been considering did not exist 25 years ago.

“It is a fascinating process and there has been lots of debate among the committee members about what we should include, and there’s a healthy discussion online which is great.”

This month a second round of public consultation has been launched for people to comment on the updated version before a third draft is produced. The project team aim to have the new code adopted early next year.

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Among the topics which the code aims to address are privacy, cyber security and the implications of artificial intelligence.

Members of the ACM will sign up to the ethical code and be bound by it but its principles apply to anyone who uses computers in their professional lives. Universities and schools will use it in teaching and training and there is also a role in educating the public and aspiring professionals about the ethical obligations of software engineers.

To take part in the latest consultation click here. To read the draft and rationale click here.

Posted on Wednesday 10 May 2017

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