SIA adopts new ethics principles

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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

SILVER SPRING, Md.—Security industry professionals, products, services, policies and procedures have a direct impact on the safety and security of millions of people. This means members of the industry have a special duty not only to those they directly service, but to all of society, since, outside of the most remote places, virtually everyone encounters security devices.

To that end, the Security Industry Association (SIA), through its Ethics in Security Technology Working Group, has developed the SIA Membership Code of Ethics, a set of nine principles designed to promote the highest standards of conduct among its members. Several of the principles cover common business topics, from ensuring “honesty, integrity and transparency” in business practices to opposing “prejudice, harassment and abuse” to taking appropriate steps to protect sensitive person information. Others are focused on specific security industry matters.

For example, because many security companies work with law enforcement, one principle states that member organizations and their employees shall “work with law enforcement in an appropriate manner that enhances public safety while respecting the reasonable expectations of privacy held by customers and individuals whose images or information are captured by security devices.” 

Another principle example intended to security privacy states that members shall “ensure that their products, services and solutions are not designed or manufactured in such a manner as to surreptitiously transmit information to third parties for purposes outside the normal and expected scope of security and business operations.” 

A final principle example that grows out of the ideal that security technology should never be used for abusive or harmful purposes requires SIA members to “refuse to knowingly design, manufacture, sell or deploy products, services or solutions that have been finally determined by any supranational, national, federal, state or local governmental authority or any self-regulatory entity, whether foreign or domestic, having competent jurisdiction over the applicable member organization to support the infliction of human rights abuses, the restriction of civil liberties and/or the implementation of other oppressive measures.”

As of July 1, all new and renewing SIA members will be required, as a condition of membership, to affirm that they will abide by the principles. 

Should a member who has made that affirmation commit a material violation of one or more of the principles as determined by the SIA Executive Committee, that member may be subject to punitive action, ranging from a written warning to suspension of membership to expulsion from the association. All decisions made by the Executive Committee concerning possible violations and SIA’s response will be final.