Q:

What is "breach of confidentiality"?

A:

A breach of confidentiality is a disclosure of confidential information. Whether a breach of confidentiality exists depends upon the definition of confidential information in a contract. Many contracts define confidential information as all information not readily available to the public. This information includes customer lists, suppliers, product schematics and pricing.

Without a contract, there is usually no obligation to keep information confidential, unless the disclosing party owes a fiduciary obligation to the other party. For example, a board member of a company has a fiduciary obligation not to disclose the company's confidential information. A breach of confidentiality by a board member is regarded as more serious when the board member personally benefits from the disclosure of confidential information.

Further, there are certain privileged situations that are protected by law. Depending on the jurisdiction, communication between doctors, lawyers, accountants, psychologists and their clients is privileged and confidential.

Because health care is a sensitive area, the U.S. Congress designed special rules in the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act to ensure that there are special protections for the transfer of medical information between health care providers.

Absent a unique relationship between the two parties, the language of the contract determines what information is confidential. Any disclosure of confidential information as defined in the contract is considered a breach.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    Can convicted felons vote?

    A:

    Voting laws for felons vary by location. According to Nonprofit VOTE, convicted felons lose their right to vote in most states until incarceration, parole or probation has ended. According to ProCon.org, felons in Maine and Vermont are allowed to vote by absentee ballot while incarcerated.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the law for opening someone else's mail?

    A:

    As of 2014, it is a violation of federal law for anyone to open mail other than the addressee or the government. A U.S. code stipulates that anyone who takes an item of mail from a post office, mail depository or postal carrier before it is delivered to the addressee or opens, hides or destroys mail shall be fined, imprisoned for up to five years or both.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does "next of kin" refer to legally?

    A:

    According to LegalZoom.com, the term "next of kin" refers to a person's closest surviving family member. When a person dies without a will, the next of kin, as determined by laws of intestate succession, inherits the estate.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you legally own a pet giant pouched rat?

    A:

    In 2003, due to concerns about disease, the United States Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control banned the keeping of African pouched rats as pets within the United States, according to Right Pet. In 2008, the ban on keeping the rats was lifted, but a ban on importing the rats is still in effect, as of 2014.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore