“guarding Confidentiality: The Benefits Of Lawyers In Privacy Law” – In today’s business world, confidential information such as customer lists, proprietary technology, pricing information and marketing plans are critical business assets that can be compromised if mishandled.

The main area of ​​impact is leaving employees who choose to work for a competitor. Risks also exist when confidential information is disclosed in order to negotiate a business deal, but the negotiations break down.

“guarding Confidentiality: The Benefits Of Lawyers In Privacy Law”

1. Proper labeling. Under current law, if a company does not take sufficient steps to keep its confidential information confidential, legal protection may be lost. Marking confidential information also effectively discourages individuals from misusing confidential information. Marking can be on electronic and paper documents. The label may read: “Confidential information and property of ABC Corp.” No part of this material may be copied, used or disclosed except with the written permission of ABC Corp. permission.

Practical Tips For Protecting Confidential Information

2. Include non-disclosure clauses in employment contracts. It is best practice for employees who have access to confidential information to sign an employment contract that includes non-disclosure clauses. If the company has confidential information that is particularly sensitive, it must be clearly stated in the contract. An employee should be required to return confidential information upon termination of employment. Although it can be very difficult to enforce non-compete clauses in an employment contract, confidentiality clauses are generally legally enforceable. Although the law imposes certain confidentiality obligations on employees, confidentiality clauses in the employment contract make it clear that the employer takes confidentiality seriously, thus helping to avoid legal and practical problems.

3. Check other agreements for confidentiality provisions. As part of their day-to-day business, companies contract with service providers, including consultants and providers of IT services (such as hosting and software deployment). Many standard form contracts drawn up by service providers do not contain any client-friendly confidentiality clauses (or very ‘weak’ clauses). In these circumstances, it is best to sign a separate confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement (commonly known as an “NDA”) with the service provider, or to “enhance” the confidentiality provisions in the service provider’s contract.

4. Restrict access. A company with confidential information should be careful to limit access to confidential information to employees who have a “need to know.” In this way, the company strengthens its legal position and helps create a practical “roadblock”. Hard copies of documents must be locked and electronic copies must be password protected. Computer access should be monitored. Monitoring for “suspicious activity” can help you take legal action against a departing employee, should the need arise.

5. Add a confidentiality policy to the employee handbook. A company’s employee handbook should include a confidentiality policy that outlines procedures for handling confidential information. For example, the policy should require that documents intended for destruction be shredded (rather than simply tossed in the trash or recycling bin). Of course, written policies must comply with the confidentiality provisions of employment contracts and other legal obligations.

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6. Interview for departing employees. During the job interview, the employee should be reminded to return all confidential information that is tangible and of his future obligations regarding the misuse and disclosure of confidential information to future employers and other third parties.

7. Consider reporting to a new employer. If a company is particularly concerned about a departing employee working with a new employer that is a competitor, a letter can be sent to the new employer that outlines the former employee’s legal obligations regarding the former employer’s confidential information. The letter can often have a “legal chilling effect” on any competitor who wants to actively or indirectly encourage a new employee to disclose confidential information of a former employer.

8. Carefully review third-party NDAs. Companies are often provided with “standard form” NDAs from third parties. They may all look the same after a while, but sometimes there are important differences. For example, an NDA may require that, in order for information to be considered confidential, it must be so designated in writing at the time of disclosure, and if disclosed verbally, the confidentiality of the information must be confirmed in writing within a certain period of time after disclosure. For a company disclosing confidential information, this obligation can be quite onerous, so it can easily ignore NDA requirements. The best approach for a company disclosing confidential information is for the NDA to state that all nonpublic information that is disclosed is confidential, regardless of whether it is marked as confidential or in what form it is disclosed.

9. Beware of the deadline. NDAs often specify a period of time after which confidential information is no longer subject to the restrictions of the agreement. The period may be too short or inappropriate, and a company should carefully consider this issue when signing an NDA. It may be more appropriate to make confidentiality obligations permanent (if permitted by applicable law).

Patient Confidentiality In Healthcare

10. Track your visitors. If necessary, visitors to the workplace should sign a confidentiality agreement on arrival. In addition, they must be accompanied at all times and must be kept away from areas where they may have access to confidential information (unless they have a “need to know”).

Ralph Kroman is an experienced business attorney at WeirFoulds LLP, focusing on contract negotiations, intellectual property, information technology and commercial transactions. Anonymity is a pretty hot topic right now. If you don’t believe me, just google it. You’ll find everything from academics debating why there has been a recent rise in anonymity online, to the “anonymity because” reasons people give to news agency reporters when they agree to speak in factual interviews.

Often people choose to remain anonymous when it comes to filing a formal review or complaint; in other words, they choose not to reveal their identity. They believe that their anonymity will protect them from retaliation or harassment, so they enter the process feeling “safer” than if they had provided their name. But sometimes a person starts a report—perhaps because of something they saw in the workplace—and the resources they use to prepare say the report will be confidential. Still other sources say the report will be private.

In fact, they are not the same thing, so it is important to understand the difference, especially if you need to report something. Let’s look at the definition of each word based on VCU’s duty to report policy, then break it down below:

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Confidential: Your identity is never shared with anyone except when there is a threat of harm to yourself or others.

Private: Your identity is carefully protected, but confidentiality is not guaranteed. This may be revealed during a need-to-know investigation.

As you might suspect, while remaining anonymous or using a source that will keep your report confidential can be beneficial, it can also have its drawbacks. The most obvious is that if you are the only witness to bad behavior, it would be quite difficult for investigators to find out the truth or address the subject of the complaint if the subject did not guess who reported it. However, the source you contact as an anonymous reporter cannot reveal your name and the source you contact promises

When you submit a report to a source that promises to reveal your identity privately or on a need-to-know basis, the team handling that report undertakes to protect it from anyone outside the investigative team who does not have a need to know. Thus, the subject of the investigation would know who filed the report only if the facts of the incident were to be determined. People who are not directly involved in the investigation or the process of determining consequences based on the findings of the investigation will not be allowed to know your identity or any details of the case.

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If your head is spinning right now, you’re not alone. To make it a little easier, we can look at a table that outlines the various options for VCU faculty and staff when they need to speak up and report concerns, and which offer anonymous, confidential, and private (“need to know”) only) identity protection:

And if you want to see the thought process behind choosing the source that makes YOU feel most comfortable, you might find it helpful:

Thus, anonymous, confidential, private – these concepts do not mean the same thing and can lead to different-looking research. But it’s important to remember that when you decide to speak up, there are a number of ways you can go about it, and we’re here to help.

For more information on how to report a concern, or if you have any questions about this month’s topic, please email email ucompliance@vcu.edu or call the Office of Integrity and Compliance at (804) 828-2336. This series of practice guides focuses on

Protecting Client Confidentiality And Data Security While Working Remotely

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