Ethics for IT Professionals/Professional Code of Ethics

AMA Code of Medical Ethics

ICT Ethical Code


Ethical code consists of principals and behavioral expectations established by organizations for their employees and third parties. The core values of a company are also implemented.

The code of ethics also outlines core company values that workers are expected to uphold during business operations. Code of ethics is actually very similar to code of conduct. However, code of ethics focuses more on a company's morals and values at a high-level while code of conduct focuses more on specific situations. Having an ethical code is important as it serves as a permanent reminder of the principals every employee is expected to uphold everyday.

Most IT Professionals, unlike doctors and other professionals, do not have a general rule making body, they may have many professional organizations specialized to specific groups.

  • Association of Information Technology Professionals(AITP)
  • CyberSecurity Institute (CSI)
  • Independent Computer Consultants (ICCA)
  • Information Systems Security Association (ISSA)
  • Association for Computer Operations Management(AFCOM)
  • Computing Technology Industry Association(CompTIA)

The existence of these bodies is made necessary due to the lack of respect for ethics in society in general, requiring not only the validation of this types of bodies but also their power to enforce sanctions when ethical violations are made evident. Something that could be well covered by the state and the academia.

It can be argued that these ruling bodies should be in fact unnecessary, since ethical considerations do not depend on ones profession, even if very specific considerations can seem restricted in the function they will be shared by another profession. It could also be stated that this is a function of the state and the legal system, that delegating these functions in non-governmental, even if public organizations, is detrimental to the public good, and overall block to transparency of procedures. These bodies will also promote the exertion of corporate influence toward their specific groups interests, one such interest is reducing competition by limiting or increasing the difficulty of access to functions and a general increase in prices since they permit a coordinated fixing of payments in a monopolistic way and promote the practice of obtaining special treatment and recognition for those that depend on their specific activities.

IT Code of Ethics


There are many resources for IT professionals to refer to when searching for ethical guidance. A few examples of these resources include:

  • “The Code of Ethics” in section seven of IEEE.
  • “The Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct” from the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP).    
  • “IT Code of Ethics” from SAN.

One of the main sections that are highlighted in the code of ethics are the ethical behaviors that are expected of each individual. Employees are often expected to uphold integrity, responsibility, and professionalism during work. This includes properly handling confidential information, maintaining a safe working environment, and avoiding unlawful conduct such as accepting bribes. Code of ethics also highlights ethical behaviors towards others. Workers are often expected to treat others fairly without engaging in discriminatory and harmful behavior.