Hot answers tagged

159

My opinion is that is a predatory practice and it is unethical. And it's the case that any decent moral or ethical system worth its salt is occasionally going to demand that you take a hit. It's easy for me to be an armchair quarterback and say, "Stand up for what's right and take the consequences." Still, that's what my advice is. I did this once. I ...


143

Ask if you can be reassigned to another project. I already had some question in interview such as "would it be ethically ok for you to work for a military project?". Some companies do care about this kind of things, and could therefore reassign you to another project. After all, it's in their interest to make sure you are happy and motivated with your ...


130

Get it in writing. Save a copy of said confirmation away from company hardware. Violating software and service licenses are the kind of thing that, if they are caught, can really screw over a company. They will want someone to blame and an unscrupulous windbag will end up deleting any emails on the company servers related to their 'request' and make you ...


92

should report to the authorities What authorities? Most countries don't have a "be nice to your employee" laws. The only thing the authorities care about are violation of existing laws. If your former employer did indeed break the law and you have decent documentation or proof, that they did, then, by all means, report them. If not, that would be pointless. ...


90

Am I justified in feeling like I'm being exploited by the other researcher to write this code or am I being selfish? No, you aren't being "exploited" - if I understand you correctly this code would benefit you and your supervisor as well. That it will also benefit others is good thing. Can I protect my code from others using it without creating tension/...


78

Just putting aside the ethical aspects here, there are very real legal considerations. In many jurisdictions, the work done by private investigators is regulated, with training and licencing mandatory. I assume you've had no training around the types of information you are legally allowed to store, and to what lengths you are to go to in order to collect it....


59

Like anything that touches on ethical considerations, you need to be prepared for the repercussions from your decisions. If your company has a legal department, I would consider starting there. What you are doing is a violation of the terms of service of the API and could result in problems for your organization. This can help you get additional eyes on the ...


46

What are you going to achieve? Just shout at the wall. Move on in life. BTW - You say that you have no proof - therefore nothing can happen


43

Recently, my team leader added me and my colleague to a Whatsapp group and told us to gather as much as information about a couple of people This is big red alert to me, and the request looks completely unethical. If your team lead wanted you to get information for any official purpose, why is he not using office emails or messaging? How does a Whatsapp ...


36

As this is the first time you are "writing code for something beyond classwork" I think it is important to learn some of the basic principles of what it means to write software for money, as I think once you understand these, the answer to your questions flow pretty naturally. First principle: when someone pays you to write code, it implies two things: ...


32

But it is so commonplace, I wonder is it okay? This is a completely wrong action, and not okay in any way. The only possible reasons that your coworkers have been able to get away with this behavior is that either their organization is not following proper ethical conduct, or the organization is not able to enforce the policies properly. This kind of ...


29

but it would probably never catch someones eye. Don't be so sure. Companies serving popular data (maps, etc.) where there are acceptable-use policies relating to mass-downloading will often have some kind of detection mechanism in place to enforce those policies. Too many requests from the same IP address, or anything which looks like that, and you're ...


29

Unless you draw unusual particular attention to your online name, it isn't going to harm you. For example, don't show up at an interview with a t-shirt saying "I am Overlord Dragon". And don't use phrases like "we humans" during an interview. You won't appear "less controllable" solely due to your online name. You'll only appear that way if you act that ...


28

Is this true? Based on my experience as a hiring manager - yes it's unprofessional. I would definitely not allow a recruiter to present my credentials to a company I am already working with. In the past, it was annoying to have a candidate presented by a recruiter and then already be in our system via their own efforts. It came across as desperate. ...


24

Knowledge Transfer document or an App understanding document or some other silly document where we have to document everything we did. You mean they're asking you to document your work? Oh the horror. I some times feel that this is a silly thing wasting my time in creating these docs. What you "feel" about it is kind of irrelevant - presumably you're ...


16

It comes down to your personal convictions. From what I understand the misuse of the API does not appear to be a criminal offense (please don't just take my word for it, get legal advice to be sure). However, make sure that the collection and storage of data that your software is performing is legal. In Europe there are strict data privacy laws (GDPR), ...


13

I'm also a research programmer working in academia. We're lucky to be in a field where data and methods sharing is the norm. I, all of my peers, and I'd bet you as well, have all benefitted from decades of previous research being made public and available to us. It pushes scientific progress forward. It's perfectly reasonable to want some recognition for ...


13

I think you should either let it go or maybe use a little bit of soft power to actually punish such terrible conduct. You could go to Glassdoor and post that the company had such issues and of course tell your friends and people that would like to work there, so that they are aware of such a bad workplace. Also, if you happen to find a better workplace, ...


13

It's usually inappropriate to use company resources (including your time as an intern) for personal benefit. It's certainly not your responsibility to police how your manager assigns work, but the example you give is unusual and questionable. Even if your manager's academic enrollment is sponsored by your employer, it's usually expected that class work be ...


12

When an ethical concern comes up in the workplace there's a couple considerations. First, we need to understand Ethical. Ethical is sometimes legal and sometimes illegal. So find out if it's illegal. If it's not illegal, then we're in the more difficult part of the conversation. Second, decide how important your values are to you. This is difficult. Often ...


12

If they are anonymous, I want to write about office politics, incompetent manager, several malpractices in the office. Also, what are the best ways to write these so that the company will not be able to find out the person who wrote this particular feedback. (Having limited number of employees, someone might be able to trace out the person who ...


11

Your instincts served you well here - there's no real benefit to you allowing the recruiter to "represent" you in this one. Quite the reverse in fact - and the same goes for the company as well. Many recruiters operate on a commission-like model where they get paid either a fixed amount or percentage of a new hire's wage once the hiring goes through. In ...


10

Two parts to this answer: First: Why would you want to force them to stay as your direct reports? Imagine if you're successful, and they're stuck in your group. They don't like you as a boss (for whatever reason) and now they know they've been forced to work with you as their manager. Do you imagine that they'd be productive afterwards? Do you imagine ...


10

What you should do depends on how much you value your code of ethics. If push comes to shove, knowing that your conscience isn't edible, are you willing to quit your job or be fired rather than work on the project? You can voice your concerns directly to your manager and see if they would be willing to reassign the project. If you do happen to be successful,...


10

You haven't given enough information in your question to determine whether your boss's request is unethical and/or illegal and/or in breach of their contract/ToS with another party. These are all vastly different matters that you should treat differently. If the request is illegal, you should not do it on your employer's behalf, even if you don't think it's ...


9

Sabbaticals are usually granted based on seniority and length of tenure. Companies have an interest in having lower level positions with relatively shorter term employees constantly filled instead of having a dubious 6 month absence whereas for more senior positions, granting such absences is worth retaining the employee since their domain knowledge is ...


9

Regarding (1): As someone who's been involved in reviewing, interviewing and hiring applicants in IT (developers): If you put this information forward and make sure I know it's important to you, finding "Antitheist Gnostic Atheist" at the top of your Twitter feed and seeing questions like this on SE will certainly make me wonder about both your perspective ...


8

Just a quick congrats on your stance and ethics. I'm the same as you and have a blanket rule that I will never work for a company that produces gambling software (huge industry where I live - Australia). Stand your ground, nothing wrong with not wanting to take part in destroying lives and tearing families apart. Its more than "their money their choice", it ...


8

No. It is not OK I am assuming we're not talking about your own know-how and methods (ie your own toolkit) but rather the companies know-how and intellectual property. You need to have a very careful read of this and decide if it is worth the risk.


7

You should cooperate with the solution your manager has decided to pursue. Don't resist the change to reporting structure. Your manager is responsible for the experience and productivity of everyone in his/her department, including those individuals that report through you. If your manager believes the change is the right decision, even after hearing your ...


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