Proposed Changes to the IEEE Code of Ethics

Members can comment on the changes on or before 30 October

21 July 2017

The IEEE Board of Directors at its meeting of 25 June approved the following resolutions:

“RESOLVED that, in accordance with the IEEE Policies, Section 7.8, the publisher of THE INSTITUTE is instructed to include in both its August 2017 online version and its September 2017 print edition, copies of the proposed changes to the IEEE Code of Ethics presented to this meeting, with a request for comment thereon; and

FURTHER RESOLVED that all IEEE Major Boards shall have the opportunity to discuss such changes to the IEEE Code of Ethics prior to final action by the Board of Directors; and

FURTHER RESOLVED that this Board shall engage in final consideration of such changes to the IEEE Code of Ethics at its November 2017 meeting.”

The following is the IEEE Code of Ethics, marked to show the proposed changes and is hereby published for comment in accordance with Section 7.8 of the IEEE Policies:

“We, the members of the IEEE, in recognition of the importance of our technologies in affecting the quality of life throughout the world, and in accepting a personal obligation to our profession, its members, and the communities we serve, do hereby commit ourselves to the highest ethical and professional conduct and agree:

  1. to accept responsibility in making decisions consistent with the safety, health, and welfare of the public, in keeping with principles of ethical design and systemic sustainability, and to disclose promptly disclose factors that might endanger the public or the environment;
  2. to avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest whenever possible, and to disclose them to affected parties when they do exist;
  3. to be honest and realistic in stating claims or estimates based on available data;
  4. to reject bribery in all its forms;
  5. to improve the understanding of the capabilities of technology; by individuals and by society as a whole, and its appropriate application, and potential consequences applications and societal implications, including outcomes attributable to autonomous systems;
  6. to maintain and improve our technical competence and to undertake technological tasks for others only if qualified by training or experience, or after full disclosure of pertinent limitations;
  7. to seek, accept, and offer honest criticism of technical work, to acknowledge and correct errors, and to credit properly the contributions of others;
  8. to treat fairly all persons and to not engage in acts of discrimination based on race, religion, gender, disability, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression;
  9. to avoid injuring others, their property, reputation, or employment by false or malicious action;
  10. to assist colleagues and co-workers in their professional development and to support them in following this code of ethics.”

Comments on the foregoing changes should be directed to IEEE Director Kate Duncan at kduncan@ieee.org and/or IEEE Ad Hoc Committee on Ethics Programs Chair Greg Adamson at g.adamson@ieee.org, on or before 30 October.

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