What Does Confidentiality Mean?


5 Answers

Liam Sheasby Profile
Liam Sheasby answered
Confidentiality is defined as keeping something secret, specifically relating to private information or communications. These communications, and the information, are open to you as a trusted individual or party. This means that you have a responsibility and often an obligation to abide by the rules of secrecy.

  • Why not just say it's a secret?

Confidentiality is more than a secret. A secret can be broken and just cause a bit of upset. Confidentiality has legal implications. No business or individual, wants their private and often sensitive information being published. In the case of sensitivity, it is often ethics that are involved - a patient at a hospital might have an embarrassing condition that they do not want publicized.

  • Who usually maintains confidentiality?

As mentioned, the medical professions always keep confidential records of their patients. Any health conditions or any related conditions within their family, or any history of medication or operation, is kept secret.

In a similar fashion there is confidentiality in most businesses. Companies do not want their rivals obtaining information about their successes or flaws, or about what deals they're proposing. The legal professions have similar responsibilities with regards to client protection and the maxim of "innocent until proven guilty".

In journalism, a reporter has an ethical duty to protect the identity of a source if that source can be persecuted as a response of their testament; whether it's lawfully by the police or more sinister threats from those accused.

  • What happens if I breach confidentiality?

The US has the Espionage Act, whilst the UK and most others have an Official Secrets Act. This leads to documentation being signed by those with access to sensitive material and declares that they understand the significance of such information and that they are aware of the punishments for breaching the terms of this law.

The general punishment is a prison sentence of up to two years, a fine or a combination of both in the UK, whilst in the US the options are wider ranging due to the crossover of Espionage and Privacy.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
It means to keep something, like ID or other information very secret. Only to be shared by the person himself and very few other people (and only if necessary). Sometimes the person needs to give a written permission for the confidentiality to be broken and his information shared with others. Example: Medical records, court records, bank or credit card records, etc.
Deemarcas Day Profile
Deemarcas Day answered
To keep a secret, to have trust between two parties.  Confidentiality is important in the medical and law fields.  That what you say to a professional or a friend stays there and isn't told to anyone else.
look at my pict hhnoon Profile
You are having another's trust or confidence..
Rayette Cruz Profile
Rayette Cruz answered
I think that when you are married, that what ever is talked about (secret or not) or discussed between you two, should stay between you two, no matter what it is about, unless you have permission from that other person to share it. It is a form of trust. And love is built on trust.

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