Computer Ethics

Topics: Ethics, Business ethics, Ethical code Pages: 3 (638 words) Published: September 13, 2014

Ethics are “rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally good and bad” or “the principles of conduct governing an individual or group” ("Ethics definition"). Thus, Computer ethics are considered a “set of moral principles that regulate the use of computers” ("Computer ethics”). The term was first used in 1985 with a published essay, What is Computer Ethics, by James Moor. Moor was a professor of philosophy at Dartmouth College. Moor states that computer ethics is “the analysis of the nature and social impact of computer technology and the corresponding formulation and justification of policies for the ethical use of such technology” (Moor, 1985). It also includes the identification of computer generated policy vacuums, clarification of conceptual models, formulation of policies for the use of computer technology and ethical justification of such policies. At Georgia Southern University, Department of Mathematics and Computers professor Margaret Ann Pierce and John W. Henry, her assistant created three categories that influence computer technology and usage. They include the individuals personal code, any informal code of ethics that previous exists, and subjection to formal ethics code. Pierce and Henry do not disagree with the original definition of computer ethics but add focus to the basis of the rules that are applied when making decisions concerning computer technology and use. Computer and professional ethics differ in several ways. Computer ethics affect a person’s “life, health, finances, freedom and future of a client or members of the public” (Baase, 2008). However, professional ethics have the ability to “cause great harm through dishonesty, carelessness, or incompetence” (Baase, 2008). Professional and business ethics apply in a person to person atmosphere, over the phone, and on a computer. Computer ethics apply solely to the computer, such as email, online chat programs, and much more. That is the major difference in the two....
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