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Questions tagged [ethics]

Ethics provide guidelines for personal and professional conduct.

1
vote
0answers
80 views

Can one copy their own code from a different company? [duplicate]

Lets say someone has written code for multiple companies that have then copyrighted you work. Another company gives them a similar project to one they have worked on previously. Would it be legal for ...
4
votes
4answers
551 views

Is it ethical for an android application to check if its rival application is also installed by the user?

I was just going through a food delivery application's preferences file where I found that it had a boolean to check if the user has one of its rival's app installed or not. Is it ethical to do so on ...
2
votes
1answer
168 views

Is using Microsoft Hooks an ethical process for getting non sensitive Information

So we have an application that I am not ready to describe in full before we take it to the market, but I will give the details necessary. We currently have an application that takes a snapshot of an ...
-2
votes
1answer
104 views

Can I copy a project from CodePlex to GitHub [closed]

Edit : moved the question to Open Source SE : https://opensource.stackexchange.com/questions/5669/can-i-copy-a-project-from-codeplex-to-github Asking about personal ethics from a personal perspective,...
6
votes
3answers
727 views

Is it ethical to adopt other programmer's algorithms?

Imagine I find a completely new algorithm to compute the square root of a binary number (simplification of real scenario) on an internet forum that was an original creation. Is it ethical for me to ...
0
votes
1answer
178 views

Is it unethical to figure out how much to charge by asking for a quote from another company? [closed]

I've been asked to write a mobile app for a business I have connections with, and I've been trying to decide what I should charge. One thing I came up with was to research what other companies would ...
40
votes
8answers
6k views

Software License which discriminates on 'ethical' grounds

I've spent some time reading the common copyleft and permissive software licenses. Is there a license which allows the creator of an application or algorithm to broadly specify who may use/distribute ...
0
votes
2answers
176 views

Tips for working with badly designed software [closed]

Currently in my job im working with a lot of older php systems which don't follow normalised design patterns and are frankly, a mess. As an ethical developer and someone who always strives to better ...
3
votes
1answer
190 views

Is it safe to use old code in a new project? [duplicate]

Here is the situation: While working by company A on project A you developed a very fast and perfect search algorithm. Then you switched to company B to work on project B which is totally different ...
2
votes
1answer
158 views

Ethicality of online license checks [closed]

Our program has a piracy problem, some people buy a personal license and install it on all the computers in a company. We want to check that only a single instance of a serial id is used at the same ...
2
votes
1answer
160 views

Is it fair to patent workarounds? [closed]

While developing a FAT32 driver for my bootloader, I thought to make it complete by adding the long file name support. While watching around for some specification, and I also found articles about ...
116
votes
7answers
13k views

How to avoid being forked into oblivion by a more powerful contributor?

As recently reported here: Xamarin has forked Cocos2D-XNA, a 2D/3D game development framework, creating a cross-platform library that can be included in PCL projects. However the founder of ...
3
votes
1answer
207 views

Zero Day Exploit Ethics/Etiquette [duplicate]

What are my responsibilities, as a developer, if I stumble upon a zero day exploit in a widely used third party piece of software? Should the developer only tell the third party to limit the affect? ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Deleting Content from Service [closed]

I'm not quite sure what the real practice is in the programming community. But when a user deletes content from your service (ie. deleting a status update, a photo of theirs, a comment they made). ...
-1
votes
1answer
142 views

Is it acceptable within the community of developers to copy open-source software and branch it? [duplicate]

Is it generally, to a reasonable developer, considered morally acceptable, to take a branch of an open-source repository, and start making changes to it and calling your own? You would be taking this ...
-1
votes
2answers
113 views

Is it normal to look back on codes when coding? [duplicate]

the title says it all. I'm still a university student studying IT. Whenever I'm doing coding, I will frequently look back on codes that I've done before or looking for codes online or on reference ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it a good idea to collect anonymous usage statistics in a free program? [closed]

I'm the main author of a multiplatform free software/open source GUI program. Although the program gets thousands of direct downloads per month, I have no idea of the number of people regularly using ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it ethical or even legal to track user data/metrics using IP [closed]

This one is a bit tough. It is publicly available information, is it not? But it's can also be used maliciously. So is it legal/ethical to store and/or gather information on users based on IP? It's ...
3
votes
2answers
161 views

Are there Any Concerns with Importing Document Files From a Competing Product?

I have a new product that serves the same purpose as my competitor's long-standing product. One thing I have considered doing is allowing my program to import document files created by their product ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it acceptable to upload offensive content to GitHub? [closed]

I developed an offensive content checker for my website and want to publish it on GitHub. However, the source code contains many offensive, racist and otherwise nasty content. The source is fully ...
-1
votes
1answer
57 views

adding data gathering to a utility app and publish it to partners? [closed]

I've been working on a utility app for a while, and when we're in the final phases the boss is asking for adding user behavior and location tracking and was explicit about publishing them to 3rd party ...
5
votes
0answers
110 views

What To Do If I've Found a Vulnerability In a Possible Future Employers Site? [duplicate]

I've been self employed for a long time now and have recently decided that PHP development within a company is the route I'd like to go down. I had an initial interview/meeting yesterday with a ...
15
votes
6answers
1k views

How to assure users that website and passwords are secure [closed]

On reliable websites I always see claims such as "All data is encrypted" or "All passwords are encrypted using 128bit encryption" and etc. However I have never come across a claim such as "All ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Information protection when registering on web sites

Up until now it seems that when you register on a random web site you do so with blind trust. You assume that the site isn't harvesting information and passwords. You assume the site is reasonably ...
28
votes
1answer
1k views

If the spec is flawed, should it still be followed?

I have been assigned to develop an integration to one of my employer's applications to an external system developed by our client. Our client's specification for the integration that has some blatant ...
8
votes
1answer
635 views

Signing redistributed files

In order to submit a desktop application for the Windows 8 app store, you need to digitally sign any driver or .exe associated with the application. However, the application I was trying to submit ...
3
votes
2answers
664 views

In general, is it ethical to make a copy of work source code and take it home as reference? [duplicate]

Is it ethical to make a copy of my work's source code, for the sole purpose of my own reference? By reference, I mean as reference where I can refer to it about how I (and my teammates) implemented ...
7
votes
2answers
276 views

Is tracking Android OS.Buid/Manufacturer info a privacy issue?

On the Android operating system details about the phone are available via the Android.OS.Build class. These details include things such as the phone manufacturer, model, version, etc. The customer may ...
20
votes
6answers
4k views

Do people who get paid to write code but score low on the “programmer competency matrix” have an ethical duty to find a different kind of job? [closed]

People advise me to "find a job doing something that you are good at", but the truth is that I don't believe I am good with anything other than just writing code. I don't think that I can design or ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it legal and ethical to reverse engineer software to port it to another system? [closed]

I love gaming, I love games that allow modding and I love linux. But the fact that most games right now are targeted for windows (consoles aside), most mods and modding tools are also targeted for ...
0
votes
1answer
449 views

Directly copying third-party API

I'm currently planning on implementing API for HgLab and the obvious role model for me here is GitHub. My API obviously won't be an exact copy due to inherent differences between Mercurial and Git ...
3
votes
2answers
837 views

Do we ethically have the right to use the MAC Address for verification purposes?

I am writing a program, or starting at the very beginning of it, and I am thinking of purchase verification systems as a final step. I will be catering to Macs, PCs, and possibly Linux if all is said ...
13
votes
8answers
1k views

Should you promise to deliver a feature that you aren't sure if its implementable?

In an article from HN, I came across the following advice: Always tell your customer/user "yes", even if you're not sure. 90% of the time, you'll find a way to do it. 10% of the time, you'll go ...
-1
votes
1answer
480 views

Extracting main article from webpage/feed. Is it legal/ethical? [closed]

There are some applications like Readability and Pocket, which are letting users to read the main content of web pages, in a clean interface or such. But the articles should be bookmarked from another ...
87
votes
29answers
21k views

Can my company give IP rights away for an application I wrote off hours to another startup? [closed]

I am an intern for a health company (unpaid), let's call it Company A and I noticed that they are using a lot of paper form for things that can be done on the computer. Excel files for things that ...
1
vote
2answers
367 views

Can I use code in my own projects that I have written for someone else? [closed]

In the past I did a freelancing project for someone where I wrote a couple of image filters. Nothing fancy, and a very very low cost project for them. I was wondering, if I wish to use these in a ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

Can I legally and ethically take an open-source project with community contributions to closed-source? [closed]

Let's say I start and develop some project under open-source license, and accept some community contributions. How shaky is the ground I stand on if I decide to take the project commercial and closed-...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Legitimate use for IRC bots [closed]

I recently saw a question on SE about how to do such and such when creating an IRC bot. The only use of IRC bots I was familiar with was message flooding and spamming. I did a Google search for the ...
7
votes
4answers
607 views

Is there a difference between “self-plagiarizing” in programming vs doing so as a writer? [closed]

I read this Gawker article about how a writer reused some of his older material for new assignments for different magazines. Is there any similar ethical (societal?) dilemma when doing the same ...
13
votes
2answers
631 views

What to do when you find a security hole in your company's site

I have found a major security hole in one of my company's public facing site. This is our first public facing site that was converted from an intranet site. I brought this issue up to my boss and they ...
13
votes
9answers
2k views

Displaying the number of registered users to a website

I am building an online game much like Mafia Wars. I was thinking of displaying the number of registered users on the home page, but then I thought: "What if a new user sees that the total number ...
9
votes
6answers
601 views

Turning in code you developed in your company as homework assignments [closed]

I'm currently running a start-up with a buddy and I noticed that some of my university assignments could be finished by simply copying some code from some of the programs we've developed. Are there ...
22
votes
2answers
12k views

Confusion about dual license (MIT/GPL) javascript for use on my website

I've read all of the posts I can find on this and I'm still not sure of the answer. I'd like to use a jQuery plugin on my website that is dual licensed under MIT and GPL. Does the dual license mean ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Should I use Legitimate Email spoofing?

Recently I receive a request: users' emails are stored in the database, and as request of a user, the system will send an email on their behalves. To add more context, it's like sending an email from ...
2
votes
7answers
577 views

Is it legal/ethical to post production code? [closed]

This may sound silly or obvious but this is my case; I work at a company that recently implemented SAP and I was the responsible to generate/migrate the master data of the company which let me learn a ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it legal or ethical for me to use my previous employer's code in a new project?

I participated and wrote a large amount of code in a project which my current company outsourcing to my former company last year. After that I left my former company and recently join in my current ...
3
votes
3answers
631 views

What is ethical/unethical while seeking help on the web with programming assignments?

I have used the web and Stack Overflow extensively during the past month or so in creating my final project for my C# class. I have used so much code that I didn't write myself that I feel I am being ...
29
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it ethical to use personal code at work?

I am working on a side project at work where I find it beneficial to use some of my code that I have developed personally (outside of work) to speed my development. My side project is developing a C++ ...
9
votes
3answers
793 views

Is it unethical to track app usage through REST API calls?

I am building an app that communicates with my website with ASIHTTPRequest to a PHP-based REST API on the server side. Naturally, in my app I have different endpoints on the server side, and usually ...
70
votes
16answers
4k views

What is the/Is there a right way to tell management that our code sucks?

Our code is bad. It might not have always been considered bad, but it is bad and is only going downhill. I started fresh out of college less than a year ago, and many of the things in our code puzzle ...