In my business, confidentiality is a must. I believe that all business has some areas of confidentiality that must be maintained.
Recently I have come across individuals that feel everything in business should be known – legal, contractual, employment, etc. At the same time they will state that legal, contractual and employment information should remain confidential – of course when it applies to something they are involved with only. Double Standard – ABSOLUTELY.
The shareholders, or members of a corporation are entitled to information, however ensuring accurate and detailed and complete information is given is utmost importance. When confidentiality is breached – the risk of misinformation inaccurate information, and personal attitudes added to the information is rampant. Information – whether it is a corporates board meeting, a journalists writings, or a topic of a round table discussion should only be provided by those who can maintain the integrity of the information and only when they want the information released.
I believe when confidence is destroyed by a breach – any and all cost associated with the fallout should be the responsibility of the breacher.
Whether the information is sensitive or not is not the issue. If it is deemed confidential – regardless of someone else’s opinion of the information – it should remain confidential until such time the release will do no harm – big or small.
This information should never be released without full knowledge of any board, administration or legal entity, or any originator of the work, and when released should be released in full detail in an unbiased manner, and with the attitude of author/developer of the material only.
In my world, promising confidences is giving my word and my integrity. My work depends on it, and so does the work of my clients.
So, when asked – do I sign a confidentiality agreement – YOU BET. But my confidence is implied with any project I accept, whether you have an agreement or not.