Commitment to ethical professional conduct is expected
of every member (voting members, associate members, and student
of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
This Code, consisting of 24 imperatives formulated as statements of
personal responsibility, identifies the elements of such a
It contains many, but not all, issues professionals are likely to face.Section
outlines fundamental ethical
considerations, while Section
2 addresses additional, more specific considerations of professional
conduct. Statements in
3 pertain more specifically to individuals who have a leadership role,
whether in the workplace or in a volunteer capacity
such as with organizations
like ACM. Principles involving compliance with this Code are given in Section
The Code shall be supplemented by a set of Guidelines, which provide
explanation to assist members in dealing with the various
in the Code. It is expected that the Guidelines will be changed more frequently
than the Code.
The Code and its supplemented Guidelines are intended to serve as a
basis for ethical decision making in the conduct of
Secondarily, they may serve as a basis for judging the merit of a formal
complaint pertaining to violation of
professional ethical standards.
It should be noted that although computing is not mentioned in the imperatives
1, the Code is concerned with how these fundamental imperatives apply
to one's conduct as a computing professional. These imperatives are expressed
in a general form to emphasize that ethical principles which apply to computer
ethics are derived from more general ethical principles.
It is understood that some words and phrases in a code of ethics are
subject to varying interpretations, and that any ethical
conflict with other ethical principles in specific situations. Questions
related to ethical conflicts can best be answered by thoughtful consideration
of fundamental principles, rather than reliance on detailed regulations.