CompSci 308
Spring 2024
Advanced Software Design and Implementation

Weekly Journal : Ethics in the News

The more software continues to take over every aspect of our lives, the more important it will be for us to take a stand and ensure that our ethics are ever-present in our code. — Bill Sourour

Submitting Your Work

Submit a Markdown formatted plain text file, named, to the journals folder of your individual portfolio_NETID repository provided for you in the course's Gitlab group.


One look these days at the news headlines should make it clear that ethical issues abound in tech companies or how technology and software are applied (such as data privacyalgorithmic biasalgorithmic payment transparencyright to repair, or validity of scientific results). Even our assignments can touch on ethical issues, such as implications due to a model's accuracy, security issues, such as vulnerabilities created by allowing control characters in comments or Unicode encoding in String literals, as well as what information is stored in public GIT repositories and the disastrous results.

Issues due to technical innovations are incredibly challenging because typical processes do not constrain them, so they can often outpace our capacity to think through all possible impacts. However, there is significant evidence that the main themes in today's issues have been contemplated previously and may even be timeless. For example, many concerns about smartphones were raised by the original telephone as well as the telegraph.

Use this journal entry to explore a topic of interest, deep knowledge, or personal experience and develop a personal ethical position based on one or more documented examples, such as:

Write about your interest by thinking critically about it from multiple perspectives to justify an ethical perspective. Do not simply summarize an existing perspective or report just the facts, but rather work to understand the depth and ambiguity of the ethical issues in the topic and develop your own thoughts and feelings by seeing how they might impact your plans for the future (e.g., what company you want to work for, what kind of software you want to develop, etc.).

Provide links to at least three resources you used to develop your opinion about the topic from an ethical perspective.