IT professionals have to observe a greater degree of accountability in the practice of their profession. Their works, which have been used by many consumers, have offered not only benefits, but also of harms and risks (Bayles, 1989; Nissenbaum, 1994). Faulty and malfunctioning computer systems have cost lives, money, valuable time, and other valuable resources (Bayles, 1989). When the undesirable outcomes occur, they became the center of controversy, are these intentional, accidental, or obvious outcomes of recklessness or negligence?
As a result, imposing a strong culture of accountability has become a bigger challenge for the people in the computing community. The solution to achieving a reliable standard for setting a degree of responsibility in the practice of the IT profession is by setting the degree of reliability and safety for all IT projects (Bayles, 1989; Nissenbaum, 1994). In the computing world lie many barriers which obscure accountability (Nissenbaum, 1994). First is the problem of many hands. IT products are produced by more than one individual.
When problems occur, everyone points their fingers at one another. It’s hard to identify who is to be held accountable for a mistake. Second is the problem of bugs, the natural hazards of programming. It has been used by some as an excuse for their mistakes. Third is the problem of blaming the computer in case of errors. Machines do fail, but probably due to one or more factors. It could be due to poor design, or of improper handling by its operator, yet it’s still a human error. Lastly is the problem of ownership without liability.
Product owners and developers don’t want to take liabilities in case their products fail. To control these barriers, the computing community has set a suitable standard for achieving reliability and safety which evolves together with the evolution of knowledge (Bayles, 1989; Nissenbaum, 1994). The standard will then serve as the fundamental basis for setting a standard degree of accountability for those who cause harms and risks of using IT products. However, the bottom line is everyone has to learn how to take responsibilities.
IT professionals have to think about not only the welfare of their investors, or their bosses, but also the welfare of its consumers (Bayles, 1989). They have to keep the integrity of the profession of computing, and struggle to maintain the people’s confidence in it. The profession has to be used to promote the welfare of all individuals. It should not be used to cause harm, or to steal, or to invade the privacy of the people (Bayles, 1989; Nissenbaum, 1994). The discipline has to start in every individual.
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