Legal, Ethical & Professional Issues CSE300 Advanced Software Engineering University of Sunderland © 2005 Anne Comer firstname.lastname@example.org Aim of this Session
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Advanced Software Engineering
University of Sunderland © 2005
To provide an understanding of those legal, ethical and professional issues that software engineers may come into contact with during their professional lives.
By the end of the session students should:
Rules are grouped into four areas......... “which all members should endeavour to discharge in pursuing their professional lives.”
1. You shall carry out work or study with due care and diligence in accordance with the relevant authority's requirements, and the interests of system users.
2. In your professional role you shall have regard for the public health, safety and environment.
3. You shall have regard to the legit. rights of third parties.
4. You shall ensure that within your professional field/s you have knowledge and understanding of relevant legislation, regulations and standards, and that you comply.
5. You shall conduct your professional activities without discrimination against clients or colleagues
6. You shall reject any offer of bribery or inducement.
7. You shall avoid any situation that may give rise to a conflict of interest between you and your relevant authority. You shall make full and immediate disclosure to them if any conflict is likely to occur or be seen by a third party as likely to occur.
8. You shall not disclose or authorise to be disclosed, or use for personal gain or to benefit a third party, confidential information except with the permission of your relevant authority, or at the direction of a court of law.
9. You shall not misrepresent or withhold information on the performance of products, systems or services, or take advantage of the lack of relevant knowledge or inexperience of others.
Perhaps the most widely known legislation with relevance to the software industry, and profession, is the Data Protection Act.
(This is serious stuff – only for those who think they’re good at writing or understanding code!)
The rules are comply with the eight enforceable principles of good practice. Which say that : that anyone processing personal data must data must be:
Personal data covers both facts and opinions about an individual.
It also includes information regarding the intentions of the ‘data controller’ towards the individual, although in some limited circumstances exemptions will apply.
With processing, the definition is far wider than before. For example, it incorporates the concepts of 'obtaining', holding' and 'disclosing'.
In addition to the Data Protection Act there are many more pieces of legislation relating to IT.
Further information can be found at:
There is a difference between the two.
An unethical action is not necessarily illegal.
Ethics are principles of right and wrong, used to guide behaviour….
Used by individuals, as ‘free moral agents’….
(also see Laudon & Laudon, ‘Management Information Systems’, 6th Ed. )
Professional Codes of Ethics:
Web Resources for Ethics and Computing:
Prior to the next session students are required to read the software testing chapters of Pressman.