Ethical Considerations in Computer Use

by Charles F. Beck, (F.ASCE), Chairman and Assoc.; Sargent & Lundy, Chicago, Ill.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Technical Councils of ASCE, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 2, Pg. 415-427

Document Type: Journal Paper

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This report provides a reference and guide to give direction and reason for ethical and legal responsibilities associated with the use of computers in engineering design. Many professional engineers utilize the computer to expand the application of their technical capabilities and to provide a safe and more cost-effective design. To some engineers, the computer presents temptations that may be considered unethical, such as misrepresentation or over-extension of capabilities or over-utilization or both. Therefore, computer use raises questions on the ethical and legal responsibilities of the engineer in his relationship with the client and other members of the profession. Questions for the engineer can also arise when a third-party computer service is used. Responses to these questions and the guidelines presented are based on the knowledge and experience gained from the authors' actual use of computers in engineering design practice.

Subject Headings: Ethics | Computing in civil engineering | Legal affairs | Professional development | Safety | Financial management | Client relationships | Computer software

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