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1. GENERAL ETHICAL PRINCIPLES.

A Level21 professional should…

1.1 Contribute to society and to human well-being, acknowledging that all people are stakeholders in media.We are here to serve.

This principle, which concerns the quality of life of all people, affirms an obligation of Level21 professionals, both individually and collectively, to use their skills for the benefit of society, its members, and the environment surrounding them. This obligation includes promoting fundamental human rights and protecting each individual’s right to autonomy.

1.2 Avoid harm.

In this document, “harm” means negative consequences, especially when those consequences are significant and unjust. Examples of harm include unjustified physical or mental injury, unjustified destruction or disclosure of information, and unjustified damage to property, reputation, and the environment. This list is not exhaustive.

Well-intended actions, including those that accomplish assigned duties, may lead to harm. When that harm is unintended, those responsible are obliged to undo or mitigate the harm as much as possible. Avoiding harm begins with careful consideration of potential impacts on all those affected by decisions. When harm is an intentional part of the system, those responsible are obligated to ensure that the harm is ethically justified. In either case, ensure that all harm is minimized.To minimize the possibility of indirectly or unintentionally harming others, computing professionals should follow generally accepted best practices unless there is a compelling ethical reason to do otherwise.

1.3 Be honest and trustworthy.

Honesty is an essential component of trustworthiness. A media professional should be transparent and provide full disclosure of all pertinent system capabilities, limitations, and potential problems to the appropriate parties. Making deliberately false or misleading claims, fabricating or falsifying data, offering or accepting bribes, and other dishonest conduct are violations of the Code.

1.4 Be fair and take action not to discriminate.

Level21 professionals should foster fair participation of all people, including those of underrepresented groups. Prejudicial discrimination on the basis of age, color, disability, ethnicity, family status, gender identity, labor union membership, military status, nationality, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, or any other inappropriate factor is an explicit violation of the Code. Harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying, and other abuses of power and authority, is a form of discrimination that, amongst other harms, limits fair access to the virtual and physical spaces where such harassment takes place.

1.5 Respect privacy.

The responsibility of respecting privacy applies to all Level21 professionals in a particularly profound way. Technology enables the collection, monitoring, and exchange of personal information quickly, inexpensively, and often without the knowledge of the people affected. Therefore, a professional should become conversant in the various definitions and forms of privacy and should understand the rights and responsibilities associated with the collection and use of personal information.

Only the minimum amount of personal information necessary should be collected in a system. The retention and disposal periods for that information should be clearly defined, enforced, and communicated to data subjects. Personal information gathered for a specific purpose should not be used for other purposes without the person’s consent.

1.6 Honor confidentiality.

Level21 Professionals are often entrusted with confidential information such as trade secrets, client data, nonpublic business strategies, financial information, research data, pre-publication scholarly articles, and patent applications; All of which are confidential and any violation will result in legal action.

2. PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES.

A Level21 professional should…

2.1 Strive to achieve high quality in both the processes and products of professional work.

Level21 Professionals should insist on and support high quality work from themselves and from colleagues. The dignity of employers, employees, colleagues, clients, users, and anyone else affected either directly or indirectly by the work should be respected throughout the process.

2.2 Maintain high standards of professional competence, conduct, and ethical practice.

High quality media and production companies depends on individuals and teams who take personal and group responsibility for acquiring and maintaining professional competence. Professional competence starts with knowledge and with awareness of the social context in which their work may be deployed.

2.3 Know and respect existing rules pertaining to professional work.

“Rules” here include local, regional, national, and international laws and regulations, as well as any policies and procedures of the organizations to which the professional belongs. Professionals must abide by these rules unless there is a compelling ethical justification to do otherwise. Rules that are judged unethical should be challenged. A rule may be unethical when it has an inadequate moral basis or causes recognizable harm.

2.4 Accept and provide appropriate professional review.

High quality professional work in computing depends on professional review at all stages. Whenever appropriate, computing professionals should seek and utilize peer and stakeholder review. Computing professionals should also provide constructive, critical reviews of others’ work.

2.5 Perform work only in areas of competence.

A media professional is responsible for evaluating potential work assignments. This includes evaluating the work’s feasibility and advisability, and making a judgment about whether the work assignment is within the professional’s areas of competence. If at any time before or during the work assignment the professional identifies a lack of a necessary expertise, they must disclose this to the employer or client.

3. PROFESSIONAL LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES.

Leadership may either be a formal designation or arise informally from influence over others. In this section, “leader” means any member of an organization or group who has influence, educational responsibilities, or managerial responsibilities. While these principles apply to all Level 21 professionals, leaders bear a heightened responsibility to uphold and promote them, both within and through their organizations.

A Level21 professional, especially one acting as a leader, should…

3.1 Ensure that the public good is the central concern during all professional interviews.

3.2 Create opportunities for members of the organization or group to grow as professionals.

Latest Revision: 5.13.20