Oliver K. Burmeister

Achieving the goal of a global computing code of ethics through an international-localisation hybrid

Attempts to create a global computing code of ethics have failed repeatedly over the last 25 years. Some focused on professional ethics and others on common values across cultures. In this paper professional ethics are seen as normative, yet subject to cultural diversity, and the place of values is seen as a promising way forward. A hybrid is proposed following the two-fold formula for codes of ethics advocated by the International Federation of Information Processing. The international-localisation hybrid suggests that it is possible to achieve a common set of values, yet allow diversity through interpretations of acceptable professional behaviour.

Keywords: code of ethics, normative ethics, professional ethics, ethical theories, Islam, global


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Note on the contributor

Dr Oliver K. Burmeister is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing and Mathematics, at Charles Sturt University. He is the Chair of the Committee on Computer Ethics (CCE) of the Australian Computer Society (ACS). He is also the Australian (ACS) representative to and Secretary of, Technical Committee 9 'ICT and Society' (TC9), of the International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP). Recent ethics publications include: Al-Saggaf, Y. and Burmeister, O. K. (2012) Improving skill development: An exploratory study comparing a philosophical and an applied ethical analysis technique, Computer Science Education, Vol. 22, No. 3 pp 237-255; and Bernoth, M, Dietsch, E, Burmeister, O K and Schwartz, M (in press) Information management in aged care: Cases of confidentiality and elder abuse, Journal of Business Ethics. His contact details are: School of Computing and Mathematics, Charles Sturt University, Boorooma Street, Locked Bag 588, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales 2678, Australia. Email: oburmeister@csu.edu.au; telephone +61269332591 (work and fax).