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Read the attached Ethics-V.pdf Download Ethics-V.pdfwhich continues the discussion on the professional codes of software engineering ethics.

Then proceed to answer the questions inside the reading:

 Question 8:1: Read over Appendix A and B. Identify two code items from
Appendix  A  and  two  from  Appendix  B  about  which  you  have  either:  a  question
concerning  its  meaning,  a  comment  about  its  importance,  or  a  concern  about  its
ability to be well implemented.  Pose those questions/comments/concerns below.

Question  8:2:  How  might  the  qualities  of  a  ‘superprofessional’  engineer  with
practical  wisdom,  as  described  in  this  section,  assist  such  a  person  in  applying
these codes successfully?  Be specific.  

 Question   C:1: What forms of harm did members of the public suffer as a result of
Google StreetView images?  What forms of harm could they have suffered as a
result of Google’s data-collection efforts?

Question   C:2: What institutional and professional choices might have been
responsible for Google StreetView’s violations of public privacy?

Question  C:3:  What ethical strategies from your earlier reading in this unit could
Google engineers and managers have used to produce a more optimal balance of
functionality and ethical design?  Could one or more Google ‘superprofessionals’
have prevented the privacy breaches, and if so, how?

Question  C:4:  What can Google do now  to prevent similar privacy issues with its
products in the future?  

 

Because for many ethics questions there is no absolutely right or wrong answers as such, your responses will be graded based on completeness and thoughtfulness as opposed to rote or perfunctory ones. There are three grade levels for this assignment based on your responses to all the questions: 20 (no reasoning in responses), 35 (minimal to little reasoning), and 50 (sufficient reasoning and consideration).

Write your answers in a Word file using Times New Roman font (no smaller than 10 pt but no bigger than 12 pt), single spacing, 1″ margins on all sides.

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An Introduction to Software Engineering Ethics
MODULE AUTHORS:
Shannon Vallor, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Philosophy, Santa Clara University
SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR TO INTRODUCTION:
Arvind Narayanan, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Princeton University

PART EIGHT

What are the professional codes of software engineering ethics? How do they
actually help us to be ethical in our working lives?

Each professional society of engineers adopts and enforces its own codes of
practice, including codes for ethical practice; in Appendix A and B below we have
included the codes of ethics adopted by the professional societies most relevant to
software engineers in the United States: the NSPE (National Society of Professional
Engineers) and the ACM/IEEE-CS (Association for Computing Machinery/Institute of
Electrical and Electronic Engineers Computing Society).

These codes are not meant to serve as formal checklists or exhaustive accounts of
how to be an ethical engineer in any given situation; the latter can only be
determined through the engineer’s skillful, sincere and habitual practice of ethical
reflection, analysis and deliberation in his or her professional life. Ethical codes are
just one tool that help us to “develop an ‘eye’ for what would be appropriate” in
various circumstances.11 As another scholar puts it, “The principles of the Code do
not constitute an algorithmic Turing machine that solves ethical problems.
Professional judgments are still necessary.”12 Good judgment, what Aristotle called
phronesis or ‘practical wisdom’, is something that is acquired through a
combination of experience, good habits, and conscious attention to ethical
concerns. Ethical rules and codes are no substitute for it, nor are they meant to be.
In fact, such codes can only be used effectively by persons with good judgment.
The codes aim simply to express as fully as possible the scope of professional
actions governed by ethics and to indicate the specific ethical duties that engineers
of the highest professional standing expect their present and future colleagues to
respect, and to fulfill.

In describing the character of exemplary software engineers, one scholar identifies
seven qualities of ‘superprofessionals’ who embody the highest ideals of their field:
A strong sense of individual responsibility, acute awareness of the world around
them, brutal honesty, resilience under pressure, a heightened sense of fairness,
attention to detail while maintaining perspective, and pragmatism in applying

11 Ruth Chadwick, quoted in Rashid, Weckert and Lucas (2009), 39.
12 Gotterbarn and Miller (2009), 68.
13 Erdogmus (2009).
14 Ibid., 6.

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professional standards.13 Each of these qualities contributes to the practical wisdom
that allows us to apply ethical codes intelligently and successfully. Yet
“Superprofessionals behave ethically not because it’s prescribed by a code of
conduct, but because not doing so would violate their personal professional
standards.”14

Question 8:1: Read over Appendix A and B. Identify two code items from
Appendix A and two from Appendix B about which you have either: a question
concerning its meaning, a comment about its importance, or a concern about its
ability to be well implemented. Pose those questions/comments/concerns below.

Question 8:2: How might the qualities of a ‘superprofessional’ engineer with
practical wisdom, as described in this section, assist such a person in applying
these codes successfully? Be specific.

APPENDIX A.

NATIONAL SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS

CODE OF ETHICS FOR ENGINEERS

http://www.nspe.org/resources/ethics/code-ethics

Download PDF at:
http://www.nspe.org/sites/default/files/resources/pdfs/Ethics/CodeofEthics/Code-2007-July.pdf

APPENDIX B.

SOFTWARE ENGINEERING CODE OF ETHICS
AND PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE (Version 5.2)

ADOPTED BY THE ACM/IEEE-CS JOINT TASK FORCE ON SOFTWARE

ENGINEERING ETHICS AND PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES

http://www.acm.org/about/se-code#full

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CASE STUDY: PRIVACY BY DESIGN (OR NOT): GOOGLE STREET VIEW

Along with intellectual property/copyright concerns, privacy is one of the most
commonly discussed issues of ethical and legal concern with software. There are
many definitions of what constitutes privacy: they include control over one’s
personal information, the ‘right to be forgotten,’ to be left alone or to have a
measure of obscurity, the integrity of the context in which your personal
information is used, and the ability to form your own identity on your own terms.
Each of these, along with many other potential definitions, captures something
important about privacy. There is also increasing debate about the extent to which
new technologies are changing our expectations of privacy, or even how much we
value it.

Regardless, privacy is in many contexts a legally protected right, and, in all
contexts, among those interests that stakeholders may legitimately expect to be
acknowledged and respected. The pressures that Web 2.0, ‘Big Data,’ cloud
computing and other technological advances are putting on privacy will continue
to make headlines for the foreseeable future, and software engineers will continue
to struggle to balance the legitimate desire for expanding software functionality
with the ethical requirements of privacy protection. This is complicated by the
spread of ‘dual-use’ technologies with open-ended and adaptable functionalities,
and technologies that offer a scaffold upon which third-party apps can be built.

Among the most famous cases to reveal these challenges is Google Street View:

In 2007, Google launched its StreetView feature, which displays searchable
aerial and street-view photographs of neighborhoods, city blocks, stores,
and even individual residences. From the very beginning privacy concerns
with Google’s technology were evident; it did not take long for people to
realize that the feature displayed photographs of unwitting customers
leaving adult bookstores and patients leaving abortion clinics, children
playing naked, adults sunning themselves topless in their backyards, and
employees playing hooky from work. Moreover, it was recognized that the
display of these photos was being used by burglars and other criminals to
identify ideal targets. Although Google did initially think to remove photos
of some sensitive locations, such as domestic violence shelters, it was
initially very difficult for users to request removal of photos that
compromised their privacy. After an initial outpouring of complaints and
media stories on its privacy problems, Google streamlined the user process
for requesting image removal. This still presupposed, however, that users
were aware of the breach of their privacy.

In 2010, StreetView became the center of a new privacy scandal; it was
discovered that software used in Google vehicles doing drive-by
photography had been collecting personal data from unencrypted Wi-Fi
networks, including SSID’s, device identifiers, medical and financial
records, passwords and email content. Initially Google claimed that this
data had not been collected, later they said that only ‘fragments’ of such

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data had been retained, yet eventually they conceded that complete sets of
data had not only been collected but stored. At one point Google blamed
the breaches on a single ‘rogue engineer,’ though later it was learned that he
had communicated with his superiors about the Wi-Fi data collection. As of
2012, 12 countries had launched formal investigations of Google for
breaches of privacy or wiretap laws, at least 9 have determined that its laws
were violated.2 In the U.S., Google was fined $25,000 for obstructing its
investigation into the matter. More recently, Google settled a lawsuit
brought by 38 states over the breaches for $7 million (a tiny fraction of its
profits). As part of the settlement, Google acknowledged its culpability in
privacy breaches, and promised to set up an annual “privacy week” for its
employees along with other forms of privacy training and education.3

Question C:1: What forms of harm did members of the public suffer as a result of
Google StreetView images? What forms of harm could they have suffered as a
result of Google’s data-collection efforts?

Question C:2: What institutional and professional choices might have been
responsible for Google StreetView’s violations of public privacy?

Question C:3: What ethical strategies from your earlier reading in this unit could
Google engineers and managers have used to produce a more optimal balance of
functionality and ethical design? Could one or more Google ‘superprofessionals’
have prevented the privacy breaches, and if so, how?

Question C:4: What can Google do now to prevent similar privacy issues with its
products in the future?

2 Electronic Privacy Information Center, “Investigations of Google StreetView,”
http://epic.org/privacy/streetview/. Accessed March 18, 2013.
3 David Streitfeld, “Google Concedes that Drive—By Prying Violated Privacy,” New
York Times, March 12, 2013.

  • An Introduction to Software Engineering Ethics
    • What are the professional codes of software engineering ethics? How do they actually help us to be ethical in our working lives?
    • Question 8:1: Read over Appendix A and B. Identify two code items from Appendix A and two from Appendix B about which you have either: a question concerning its meaning, a comment about its importance, or a concern about its ability to be well impleme…
    • APPENDIX B.