Confidentiality Agreements vs Trust

Who do you trust with your confidential information?


If you don't trust someone, will a Confidentiality (or Non-Disclosure) Agreement really protect you?

So many businesses these days are reliant on Confidentiality Agreements, but in spite of these, it's far too easy for confidential or sensitive information to get into the public domain. And once that happens, the signed Agreement is useless.

A quick example:

Bill is hired to ghost-write a celebrity's autobiography, but he has to sign a confidentiality agreement.

While interviewing people for the book, it becomes obvious to Bill that the celebrity is having a secret affair. In spite of the Agreement, he sells this information to a tabloid newspaper that publishes it.

Bill is sued by the celeb for breaking the agreement, but the information about the affair is now out in the public domain, possibly leading to the celebrity getting divorced, which then has repercussions for the children, family and friends.

So, the emotional impact will far outweigh any financial remuneration.

However, if they could TRUST Bill not to release the information in the first place, then an Agreement wouldn't have been required.

I am hired by legal firms, HR departments/consultants, and academic researchers to transcribe a wide variety of recordings that include confidential or sensitive information. This obviously means I am trusted by my clients; whether I have signed a Confidentiality Agreement or not, I am not going to reveal any information I have heard in the course of my work.

So, before you are about to hire someone, think "Do I TRUST them?" because if you don't, then maybe they're not the right person for the job, no matter what they sign.


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