I took a Computer ethics class some time ago, and at some point, we talked about honesty in Computer Science.

There was one thing that bothered me that we never had the chance to touch on, but how do I know that the button I'm clicking is doing what I want it to do?

I mean seriously there is really nothing that is stopping someone from making fake buttons that pretend to do what they say they are doing. I might be uninstalling something on my computer, but can I "really" trust that the software was "completely" removed?

As a developer I always strive for honesty, but that doesn't mean other people are.

How do you guys deal with this?

  • 9
    You don't trust them. That's the bottom line. This is where security certificates, trusted app etc features come in. They try to minimise the risk.
  • 8
    Open source software.
  • 3
    @Ashkin yep thats the one of the big reasons for OSS

    1. the company is so big and monitored that if they do this (and get caught) the backlash will be hard
    2. Write your own code.. thought u would still have to trust the libraries or decompile them
    3. Just screw it and don't give a fuck.... (just dont be an idiot either)
  • 3
    Same goes for terminal programs: how do you know that that exact command does what it's supposed to do? Same dilemma and some GUI haters still use it as an argument.
  • 0
    @Ashkin Lol.
  • 1
    The free software foundation
  • 1
    @Ashkin and heartbleed? Remember? Or Linux/php that have exploits found everyday.

    Open source doesnt mean transparency. Clearly not for a common user.
  • 1
    @billgates 1. You have Volkswagen which did that
    And usually devs are honest, the more serious problem is that they are humen, they make mistakes, which cause exploits and zero days.
  • 0
    @matanl which require a dev to exploit
  • 0
    @billgates and here we are, cyber warfare 2017. I think this answers the question.
  • 0
    @curlyDev If anyone can patch them, they often get fixed much quicker than relying on a completely opaque dev team.
  • 1
    We all have good intentions in the beginning but lose our way somewhere in the middle. 😔
  • 1
    I've said this before, but I wouldn't be surprised if -- in our lifetimes -- software development becomes a type of "licensed practice." (Like medicine, law, etc).

    The only things that come close (that I know of) are:
    a) govt security clearances
    b) BS presentations and multi-choice tests just so HR can file away a list of names somewhere (CYA for FDA audit, in my experience)

    Anyway, to me, the VW scandal highlights that the ethics of software dev really isn't taken seriously by the masses yet.
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