The present version of the Digital Oath content identifies non-maleficent, beneficent, and participation pledges. In the line of the Hippocratic oath’s statement – “Do not harm. Do good.” -, the digital oath’s pledges help to define the guardrails (what not to do), the guidelines (how to proceed), and how to take responsibility for our work. The Digital Oath targets all the digital actors directly involved in new technologies and solutions development (i.e., engineers, software and hardware designers, data and computer scientists, …).

Following the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) principles and way of working, this document has to be considered an open document, and any comments and modification proposals are welcomed and desired.

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Guardrails | Non-maleficent pledges

  • Pledge to not harm individuals, peoples, or communities and their dignity, rights, freedom of thought, freedom of expression, and privacy.
  • Pledge to be aware of how the system is being built: make sure its goals and intentions generate no potential danger or negative risk in any environment.
  • Pledge to design a trustworthy system coherent with my professional knowledge and my moral standards.
  • Pledge to prevent and limit the realization of risks and unwanted outcomes by making the digital system robust, safe, secure, and resilient.
  • Pledge to responsibly create and design a transparent, explainable, and accountable system.
  • Pledge to be inclusive, just, fair, unbiased (and human-centered) in creating and designing systems, data sets, and content and to refuse any attempts at harmful untruthful content creation.
  • Pledge to develop sustainable digital systems in terms of materials usage and environmental impact.

Guidelines | Beneficent pledges

  • Pledge to create and design systems that put human beings as individuals and as communities at the center and as the superior priority.
  • Pledge to create and design systems that promote the common good and seek equality between individuals and peoples.
  • Pledge to create and design systems that promote solidarity among individuals and between peoples and are especially helpful to the most vulnerable and fragile.
  • Pledge to create and design systems that help solve the urgent ecological challenges and encourage sustainable-only digital systems.

Participation pledges

  • Pledge to flag any system that does not abide by this oath and inform the closest professional ethical entity.
  • Pledge to ask a professional when in doubt about any system not being coherent with this oath.
  • Pledge to keep informed about any changes to this oath and ethical standards worldwide.
  • Pledge responsibly to be accountable for any breach of this oath from my side.
Oath for Digital User

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