Mike’s account


This is the first of a series of five assignments focusing on software engineering ethics.

Read the attached Ethics-1.pdf   Download Ethics-1.pdf document explains what Ethics mean when we talk about it in the context of software engineering. Complete the reading and then proceed to the two case studies in the Part One of the focusing area: The types of harms the public can suffer as result of software engineers’ work and the harms they can prevent.

Based on the two case studies, you will answer 6 questions in this reading. Because for many ethics questions there is no absolutely right or wrong answers as such, your responses will be graded based on completeness and thoughtfulness as opposed to rote or perfunctory ones.

There are three grade levels for this assignment based on your responses to all six questions: 20 (no reasoning in responses), 35 (minimal to little reasoning), and 50 (sufficient reasoning and consideration).

Write your answers in a Word file using Times New Roman font (no smaller than 10 pt but no bigger than 12 pt), single spacing, 1″ margins on all sides.

Question 1.1: What kinds of harm has Mike probably suffered as a result of this incident? What kinds of harm has Sarah probably suffered? (Make your answers as full as possible; identify as many kinds of harm done as you can think of).

Question 1.2: Could the problem with Mike’s account have been the result of an action (or a failure to perform an action) by a software engineer? How many possible scenarios/explanations for this event can you think of that involve the conduct of one or more software engineers? Briefly explain the scenarios:

Question 1.3: Taking into account what we said about ethics in the introduction, could any of the scenarios you imagined involve an ethical failure of the engineer(s) responsible? How? Explain: *Note: An ethical failure would be preventable, and one that a good human being with appropriate professional care and concern would and should have prevented (or at least have made a serious effort to prevent)

Question 1.4: In what ways could Karen potentially be harmed by this app, depending on how it is designed and how her shopping data is handled and used? Identify a few harmful scenarios you can think of, and the types of harm she could suffer in each:

Question 1.5: Which if any of these harms could result from ethical failings on the part of the people who developed Errand Whiz? How, specifically?

Question 1.6: What actions could the people behind Errand Whiz take to prevent these harms? Are they ethically obligated to prevent them? Why or why not? Explain your answer.