According to DigoPaul, confidentiality is the quality of confidentiality (said or done in confidence and with reciprocal security between two or more individuals). It is a property of the information that aims to guarantee access only to authorized persons.
When confidential information is produced (a letter, a document, a report, etc.), those responsible decide who or who have the right to access it. The steps to be taken to guarantee such confidentiality depend on the context. For example, a person who wants to send a letter to a relative from abroad, usually content to put the note inside an envelope, trusting that no one other than the recipient will open it.
Take care of safety
If the confidential information includes material that could put the security of a nation at risk, the level of precautions will be much higher. In general, documents of this nature are placed in the custody of specialized public agencies, in secret locations, and in many cases code writing is used.
The confidentiality of digital information (such as email) can also be protected, although not with physical measures, but with encryption mechanisms and other virtual tools.
Confidentiality and ethics
In some professions and trades, confidentiality is associated with an ethical principle. This is the case of professional secrecy that doctors or psychologists must not violate. A similar situation occurs with priests when they listen to the faithful in confession or with journalists when they guarantee the protection of a source.
In the case of medicine, it is possible to break the confidentiality pact only in particular cases, as long as the objective is the well-being of the patient, and sharing the information with people who can provide a solution, directly or indirectly. In addition, this is allowed in very specific situations, depending on the legislation of each country. On the other hand, all patients have the right to hide their health status when they are admitted to a hospital, which forces the staff to deny their presence in the center and to reject any correspondence that has them as a recipient.
Confidentiality agreements establish that it is not possible to disclose certain information publicly.
The case for hardware and software
Many software developers and hardware must sign contracts of confidentiality when they start working for major firms, since the disclosure of secret projects can negatively impact the market. It is worth mentioning that some companies spend many years working on prototypes of revolutionary products before they are released, so they depend on the seriousness of their employees so that their ideas are not leaked ahead of time.
These contracts or agreements are also common between companies and journalists, on dates close to the launch of a product, since the latter usually receive news with some advance to evaluate them and make their criticisms. In the case of a video game, for example, companies restrict the settings, characters, powers and situations they can talk about, the images and audio they can share with their followers, and any other data they consider vital. for the impact of the title on the public.
A confidentiality agreement is created so that each party is aware of the interests of the other and respects them, so that they accept their time without exception and both can benefit. It is worth mentioning that it is possible to sign mutual confidentiality contracts, in which restrictions are established for all its participants.
There are certain special cases that invalidate the power of a confidentiality contract, such as the recipient having prior knowledge of sensitive information, that is, having obtained it by other means. In some cases, despite the efforts of large companies to prevent certain data from leaving their facilities, a fleeting publication on a social network is enough for it to be known around the world in a matter of minutes.