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Communications of the ACM

ACM code of ethics and professional conduct

ACM Code of Ethics: A Guide For Positive Action

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The ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (the Code) is being updated by the Code Update Task Forcea in conjunction with the ACM's Committee on Professional Ethics. The Code was initially written in 1992, and this is the first update since then. In previous articles we detailed the motivations for updating the Code,b gave our responses to feedback on the initial draft, and produced an updated version, which we presented for feedback through the ACM Discourse site, email, and focus groups and workshops at ETHICOMP and SIGCSE. We thank everyone who took part in this public consultation round. Their insights, both positive and negative, were invaluable. We have deliberated extensively on the numerous suggestions for additions, changes, and deletions. Based on those deliberations, we produced Draft 3 of the Code.

There are some significant changes made in Draft 3. Some principles have been removed entirely or completely rewritten, and some new principles were added in response to recommendations by several respondents. This article explains the significant changes that were made, and a few changes that were suggested but not made. For the most part, the suggestions that were not explicitly incorporated are ideas that we consider covered by existing aspects of the Code. Some of these suggestions were excellent, and because of them, explanatory materials that will supplement the Code are being designed. These include examples, cases, and more detailed explanations of the Code.


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