THE INSTITUTE The IEEE Board of Directors at its 28-29 June meeting approved a set of revisions to the IEEE Code of Ethics.
The IEEE Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity, Inclusion and Professional Ethics proposed the revisions to the IEEE Board of Directors, which then were shared with the IEEE membership and the IEEE Major Boards. After a comment period, the Committee incorporated member feedback in the final version presented to the Board.
The changes incorporate high-level principles to focus members on key elements of the Code, a commitment not to engage in harassment, and the protection of the privacy of others.
The following is the approved IEEE Code of Ethics:
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:
I. To uphold the highest standards of integrity, responsible behavior, and ethical conduct in professional activities.
1. to hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public, to strive to comply with ethical design and sustainable development practices, to protect the privacy of others, and to disclose promptly factors that might endanger the public or the environment;
2. to improve the understanding by individuals and society of the capabilities and societal implications of conventional and emerging technologies, including intelligent systems;
3. to avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest whenever possible, and to disclose them to affected parties when they do exist;
4. to avoid unlawful conduct in professional activities, and to reject bribery in all its forms;
5. to seek, accept, and offer honest criticism of technical work, to acknowledge and correct errors, to be honest and realistic in stating claims or estimates based on available data, and to credit properly the contributions of others;
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;
II. To treat all persons fairly and with respect, to not engage in harassment or discrimination, and to avoid injuring others.
7. to treat all persons fairly and with respect, and to not engage in discrimination based on characteristics such as race, religion, gender, disability, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression;
8. to not engage in harassment of any kind, including sexual harassment or bullying behavior;
9. to avoid injuring others, their property, reputation, or employment by false or malicious actions, rumors or any other verbal or physical abuses;
III. To strive to ensure this code is upheld by colleagues and co-workers.
10. to support colleagues and co-workers in following this code of ethics, to strive to ensure the code is upheld, and to not retaliate against individuals reporting a violation.
Kristen Russell is a program specialist for IEEE Technical Activities’ volunteer engagement group.