IFIP Code of Ethics

At the virtual IFIP General Assembly (GA) held 24th September 2020 GA enthusiastically adopted a new IFIP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.  The Code had been adapted from the ACM Code of Ethics published previously, which itself had been through many years of consultation and development with members of IFIP, IEEE, other national and international bodies and companies. That process was led by IFIP SIG9.2.2 Chair Don Gotterbarn, who joined TC9 Chair David Kreps, IP3 Chair Moira de Roche, and MSA Representative Margaret Havey in the Code of Ethics Task & Finish Group set up at GA 2019 in Kiev.

Led by David Kreps, the Task and Finish Group undertook further consultations with Member Societies and with the IFIP Board, to produce the final version adopted at GA2020.  The IFIP Code of Ethics is not intended to replace Codes specific to Member Societies, which may contain unique points relevant to their cultures. The Code contains elements, however, that might not be included in the Member Society Code. Therefore, the IFIP Code of Ethics can be adopted alongside a Member Society’s Code, or Member Societies can modify their Code to include those values and guidance not already included in their own Codes or simply reference it in addition to their own codes.

In the words of Jussi Nissilä, CEO of the Finnish Information Processing Society (TIVIA) “The code has been gone through, line-by-line, by the TIVIA Working Group on Ethics, and no reason to not adopt it was found – on the contrary, the Working Group on Ethics considered it to be culture independent, and suitable for TIVIA, as well as any computing society”.  Maxine Leslie, Secretariat and Committee Manager at the British Computer Society, likewise, reported that “The BCS Academy of Computing has reviewed the proposed IFIP Code of Ethics and will be pleased to endorse it, finding it a very robust document covering a variety of important and interesting topics.”  Vicki Hanson, CEO of the ACM, said “As an international member of IFIP, ACM endorses the proposed IFIP Code of Ethics as a common international standard for computing and the profession.”

The Code and its associated prologue, and some Case Studies to help in the application of the Code, will appear on a website here at www.ifiptc9.org in the coming months.  A printed booklet is planned for a launch event in 2021.

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