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Legal, Ethical & Professional Issues CSE300 Advanced Software Engineering University of Sunderland © 2005 Anne Comer anne.comer@sunderland.ac.uk Aim of this Session

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legal ethical professional issues

Legal, Ethical & Professional Issues

CSE300

Advanced Software Engineering

University of Sunderland © 2005

Anne Comer

anne.comer@sunderland.ac.uk

aim of this session
Aim of this Session

To provide an understanding of those legal, ethical and professional issues that software engineers may come into contact with during their professional lives.

objectives of the session
Objectives of the Session

By the end of the session students should:

  • Understand the importance of acting ethically in their professional lives
  • Appreciate the legal context within which the professional software engineer operates
  • Appreciate the professional responsibilities of the software engineer
british computer society code of conduct
British Computer Society Code of Conduct

Rules are grouped into four areas......... “which all members should endeavour to discharge in pursuing their professional lives.”

  • The Public Interest
  • Duty to Relevant Authority
  • Duty to the Profession
  • Professional Competence and Integrity
bcs coc the public interest part
BCS COC - The Public Interest (part)

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. 

bcs coc duty to relevant authority
BCS COC - Duty to Relevant Authority

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.

http://www.bcs.org/BCS/AboutBCS/codes/conduct/

the data protection act
The Data Protection Act

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!)

located at:

http://www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts1998/19980029.htm

principles of data protection
Principles of Data Protection

The rules are comply with the eight enforceable principles of good practice. Which say that : that anyone processing personal data must data must be:

  • fairly and lawfully processed;
  • processed for limited purposes;
  • adequate, relevant and not excessive;
  • accurate;
  • not kept longer than necessary;
  • processed in accordance with the data subject's rights;
  • secure;
  • not transferred to countries without adequate protection.
personal data is
Personal Data is:

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'.

(see:http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/)

other legislation regulation
Other Legislation / Regulation

In addition to the Data Protection Act there are many more pieces of legislation relating to IT.

Further information can be found at:

http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/

ethical legal issues
Ethical & Legal Issues

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. )

morals in the information society
Morals in the ‘Information Society’
  • Information rights and obligations
  • Property rights
  • Accountability and Control
  • System quality
  • Quality of Life
ethical social and political issues

POLITICAL ISSUES

SOCIAL ISSUES

ETHICAL ISSUES

INFORMATION & TECHNOLOGY

INDIVIDUAL

SOCIETY

POLITY

Ethical, Social, and Political Issues

PROPERTY RIGHTS & OBLIGATIONS

INFORMATION RIGHTS & OBLIGATIONS

SYSTEM QUALITY

ACCOUNTABILITY & CONTROL

QUALITY OF LIFE

technology trends leading to ethical issues
Technology Trends Leading to Ethical Issues
  • Advances in data storage
  • Advances in data mining techniques
  • Advances in networking
ethical dilemmas
Ethical Dilemmas
  • Dilemma is a situation is which there are at least two diametrically opposed actions, each of which may support a desirable, although not necessarily an equally desirable, outcome
  • Use a five-step process to analyse a dilemma…..
ethical analysis
Ethical Analysis
  • IDENTIFY, DESCRIBE THE FACTS
  • DEFINE THE CONFLICT, IDENTIFY VALUES
  • IDENTIFY THE PARTIES INVOLVED
  • IDENTIFY ALL THE OPTIONS
  • IDENTIFY POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES
ethical principles
Ethical Principles
  • TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WANT TO BE TREATED
  • IF ACTION NOT RIGHT FOR EVERYONE, NOT RIGHT FOR ANYONE (KANT)
  • IF ACTION NOT REPEATABLE, NOT RIGHT AT ANY TIME (DESCARTES)
  • PUT VALUE ON OUTCOMES, UNDERSTAND CONSEQUENCES
  • INCUR LEAST HARM OR COST
  • THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH
ethics links
Ethics Links

Professional Codes of Ethics:

http://computer.org/certification/ethics.htm

Web Resources for Ethics and Computing:

http://www.cse.nd.edu/~kwb/nsf-ufe/index.htmlhttp://www.cse.nd.edu/~kwb/nsf-ufe/exercises-overview.html

prior reading
Prior Reading

Prior to the next session students are required to read the software testing chapters of Pressman.