La Ética Informática/en

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Nowadays computer use is growing day by day and with it the use of the Internet has become a necessity for doing numerous social and labour activities. In this increasingly globalized world, people need to keep in touch with society around them, which, thanks to the Internet is possible.

Nevertheless, one should not forget that Internet is a non-regulated communication web, which leads to people embarking on non-ethic and illegal activities that harm our society. As well as some other professions, Computer Science has had the necessity for reflecting on particular ethics. These ethics are known as Computer Ethics.

Definition

Computer Ethics is a new discipline that intends to open a field within other applied ethics and has strongly emerged a few years back into the world. Its origin lies on the ever-growing massive introduction of computers in numerous aspects of our social life, increasingly computerized. Its existence has as starting point the fact that computers suppose particular ethic problems and therefore different to other technologies.

In general terms Computer Ethic is the discipline which analyses ethic problems created by computer technologies or those who are transformed or aggravated by the latter. Due to a lack of regulations on how to use these new technologies.

Objective

Its objective is to supply action guides when there is no regulations or when the existent is obsolete. Some examples are:

  • Discover and articulate key ethic dilemmas in Computer Science.
  • Determine the scale of which they are aggravated, transformed of created by computer technology.
  • Analyze and propose a suitable conceptual frame and formulate principles caused by computer science in which lines of action are not perceived with clarity.
  • Utilize ethics theory to clarify ethic dilemmas and detect errors in ethic reasoning.
  • Propose a suitable conceptual frame for understanding ethic dilemmas originated by computer science in addition to a guide when there are no regulations applicable to the Internet.

Ethic and Deontologic Computer Science Code

Professional Computer Science Associations and some companies related to computer science have developed professional conduct codes, which guide to a good use and managing of the computer within the labour scope. These codes have different functions.

  • The fact that there are ethic guidelines for a profession means that a professional, in this case a technician, is not only responsible for technical aspects of a product, but also for its economic, sociological and cultural consequences
  • They also serve as a flexible instrument as supplement to legal and political actions, as these in general are slow compared to the speed in which information technologies are developed. Codes are a supplement to the law and serve as help to legislative bodies.
  • They serve as public conscience, as creating regulations this way makes people aware of the problems and stimulates a debate when giving responsibilities.- these regulations have a sociological function because they give an identity to computer experts as a group which acts a particular way; it’s a symbol of their professional status and stems from their definition as professionals.
  • These regulations also serve as source of public evaluation of a profession and are a call to responsibility. They allow society to know what happens in this profession and rises professional reputation and people’s trust.

Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics

  1. You will not use a computer to harm others.
  2. You will not interfere in the work of others.
  3. You will not peek in other’s files.
  4. You will not use a computer to steal.
  5. You will not use computer science to commit fraud.
  6. You will not copy or use software that you have not purchased.
  7. You will not use other’s computer resources without due authorization.
  8. You will not appropriate other’s intellectual rights.
  9. You will evaluate social consequences of any code you develop.
  10. You will always use computer in a way you respect other’s rights.