Code 2018 Project

The current ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (The Code) was adopted in 1992. Much has changed since then, and The Code needs to be updated to reflect shifts in both technology and society. The ACM has convened a task force of stakeholders from many organizations to produce an update of the Code, expected to be presented to ACM Council for adoption in spring 2018.

The 2018 Code is meant to be an update of the 1992 code, not a wholesale revision. We are particularly concerned about possible blind spots or anachronisms that may have resulted from changes in technology or the profession since 1992.

Status Update

Draft 2 of the 2018 Code was published on April 25, 2017. Please provide your feedback by participating in the discussion at the ACM Discourse site. This is the official mechanism for public comment on Draft 2.

If you wish to be notified when future Drafts are ready for review and comment, please complete this Google form.

Review Information

The following documents should allow you to compare the current draft of the 2018 version of the Code to the 1992 version.

  1. DRAFT 2, 2018 ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, for comment.
  2. DRAFT 1, 2018 ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, for comparison/reference.
  3. The 1992 ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, for comparison/reference.
  4. Annotated diff between Draft 1 and Draft 2 of the 2018 Code
  5. Annotated diff between the 1992 Code and Draft 1 of the 2018 Code.

Project Organization and Task Force Members

Ultimate authority for The Code rests with the ACM Council. The Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE) serves as an advisory body for the ACM Council, and has been charged with coordinating a task force that will draft an update to the code. COPE has been instructed to recruit a task force consisting of experts in the field as well as experts in ethics, governance, and law.

Task Force Executive Committee

Don Gotterbarn (chair), Bo Brinkman, Catherine Flick, Keith Miller, Kate Vazansky, and Marty Wolf.

Task Force Members

Florence Appel (ACM COPE and ACM SIGCAS), Karla Carter (ACM COPE and ACM SIGCAS), Frances Grodzinsky (ACM COPE), Anthony Lobo (ACM COPE), Denise Oram (ACM COPE), Simon Rogerson (ACM COPE), Peter Norvig (Google), Scott Buck (Intel), Mary Gray (Microsoft), Alison Miller (Oracle), Wendy Hall (ACM Europe), Andrew McGettrick (ACM Europe and ACM Ed Board), Lorraine Kisselburgh (USACM), Brenda Byers (ACM Practitioners Board, CIPS, and IEEE-CS), Paul Tymann (ACM Ed Board), Natasa Milic-Frayling (ACM-W), Amy Bruckman (ACM SIGCHI), Tom Stafford (ACM SIGMIS), David A. Shamma (ACM SIGMM), Julia Stoyanovich (ACM SIGMOD), Michael Donald Bailey (ACM SIGSAC), Jane Cleland-Huang (ACM SIGSOFT), Penny Duquenoy (BCS and IFIP), Martin Warnke (Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Informatic), Kai Kimppa (Finnish Information Processing Society), Ron Anderson (Individual expert), Kevin Bowyer (Individual expert), Michael Davis (Individual expert), Gene Spafford (Individual expert and ACM Council), Les Waguespack (Individual expert)

Timeline (tentative)

  • May 2016 – The Executive Committee of COPE met in Oxford, Ohio to kick off the project
  • September 2016 – Task Force membership finalized, material circulated to task force for first round of input. Public invitation for comment posted in Communications of the ACM and SIGCAS Newsletter.
  • December 1, 2016 – Publication of Draft 1 of update, beginning of public response period for first draft
  • May 2017 – Publication of Draft 2 of update, beginning of public response period
  • June 2017 – End of Second Draft response period
  • September 2017 – Publication of Draft 3 of update, beginning of public response period
  • November 2017 – End of Third Draft response period
  • January 2018 – Final Draft and Report to ACM Council
  • March 2018 – Public report of results

Links to Related Articles

  • Bo Brinkman, Catherine Flick, Don Gotterbarn, Keith Miller, Kate Vazansky, Marty J. Wolf. 2017. Listening to Professional Voices: Draft 2 of the ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. Commun. of the ACM 60, 5 (May 2017), 105-111. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3072528
  • Marty J. Wolf. 2016. The ACM code of ethics: a call to action. Commun. ACM 59, 12 (December 2016), 6-6. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3012934
  • Bo Brinkman, Don Gotterbarn, Keith Miller, and Marty J. Wolf. 2016. Making a positive impact: updating the ACM code of ethics. Commun. ACM 59, 12 (December 2016), 7-13. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3015149
  • Bo Brinkman, Don Gotterbarn, Keith W. Miller, and Marty J. Wolf. 2016. All hands on deck for ACM Ethics: updating the Code, revising enforcement, promoting integrity. SIGCAS Comput. Soc. 46, 3 (December 2016), 5-8. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3024949.3024950
  • Don Gotterbarn. 2016. THINKING PROFESSIONALLY: Codes of ethics—: the conscience of a profession: connecting technology and society. ACM Inroads 7, 4 (November 2016), 33-35. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3003437