Why is acm doing this [now]? (code of ethics ... or whatever it is)


I am not sure what kind of comments from me (“if any”) would be helpful.

I would like to get a better understanding of why acm is coming up with this [new] code of ethics. [“now”].

Is it
[1] because acm knows (or, thinks it knows) better than some other source of knowledge, what ideas in the area of ethics, are better than other ideas
– ? –

OR – I was thinking about this as I read the comment from Donn, at Code 2018 discussion - Start here! – is it

[2] because acm wants to / plans to, require that anyone who wants to become (or remain) a member of acm, must be willing to agree (or promise) to abide by certain rules
– ? –

Or, maybe it is “something else”? … or, “more than one of the above”?

THANKS for your patience if I have submitted this “question” to the wrong place.

Perhaps I should (“also”) send it, via email, to
ACM Member Help Utility acmhelp@hq.acm.org
– ? –


Members have been required to abide by the code of ethics for a while now (I certainly had to agree to when I joined). This is not a new code, but an update of the code. The steering committee and task force involves a lot of people for whom ethics in technology/computing is a lifelong pursuit/career/interest, as well as industry, academic, and other experts within the ACM community.

Comment is sought because we want responsible and ethical professional practice to be informed by the community, for the community. This is a chance to get involved in shaping what professional practice looks like within the computing sector for the future.

I hope these comments help!


Timing for this exercise is perhaps the prerogative of the Governance of ACM.

Having a “Code of Ethics” reflects the Core Values of the Membership of ACM and hence
many managerial decisions are facilitated with reasonable degree of understanding of the
boundaries and the standards set for interactions among the stakeholders.