This article is written by Aadrika Malhotra. This article talks about confidentiality and the breach of it in detail. Confidentiality is the cornerstone of any contractual relationship. It is added to ascertain that any private information of a party is not disclosed to any third party. If such a breach arises on the part of any of the parties, there shall be stringent punishment. 

This article has been published by Shashwat Kaushik.

Table of Contents


Confidentiality is the obligation to keep something secret or private and use it while maintaining its confidentiality. The degree of something being confidential can extend to something or some information that the provider has directed to be confidential. This information can only be accessed by people who have the authorization to do so. It is an ethical principle that not only applies to legal documents but to all work-related documents as well. This information must stay between the contract holders (the persons privileged with this information) and should not be released to a third party. Faithfulness is dependent on loyalty, and confidentiality is a virtue that shall be maintained by those who are faithful. This article talks about the breach of confidentiality in detail while laying emphasis on the several clauses and laws related to it.   

Download Now

What is the need for confidentiality          

The data-centric environment is growing, and so is the need for confidentiality. Every commercial deal talks about confidentiality, and there are some clauses in every contract to protect this information from any third party. The most important aspect that arises from such an agreement is the disclosure of the fact that such information shall be held confidential on the part of the receiving party from the disclosing party. To understand better;

  • Confidential information is any information that is privileged to the co-signing parties for which there is a need for non-disclosure from the parties entering into a contract.
  • Businesses have personal information that is to be dealt with utmost security. If this information flows to any other party aside from the contract, there shall be a breach of trust as well, which will lead to the leakage of important information between the parties, harming the businesses.      
  • A trust is entrusted between the parties to a contract, be it a trade secret, an employee, a higher-up, or simply a business contract. It may be a new product, a client, important information, or a huge trade secret. These, if revealed, will have adverse effects on any business. 
  • Breaching these confidentiality agreements can lead to the cancellation of any future business deals or even costly legal actions.  

What is considered confidential information   

Confidential information is any personal data that is shared with someone, a group of people, organisations, or businesses. Such data can be anything related to a substantive contract that is declared between two or more parties. The simplest example of this is that a lawyer may have access to your personal case documents, though they would have the legal obligation to keep them confidential from other parties.  

Business plans, trade secrets, intellectual property, or judicial records are all parts of confidential information. A trade secret is anything from a formula, practice, process, design, instrument, pattern, or compilation of information that is used by another person or company to gain an advantage over another person or company. These secrets or skills are unknown to others and are kept confidential at all times.  

For example, if A approaches B to get a consultation for starting a business that B is engaged in as well. Here, B gives A some knowledge about the business and the successful strategies. So, both A and B have discussed a trade secret that shall not be disclosed by A to another party. For information to be trade secret, it should be something that is not readily known to other people in the business; there should be some commercial value to its secrecy; and there should be some reasonable steps negotiated to maintain the secrecy of such information. 

Section 2(3) of the National Innovation Act (Draft), 2008 defines what confidential information is: 

Any data that includes formulas, patterns, programmes, codes, devices, methods, techniques, or processes, that:  

  1. Is not exclusively present or available in the particular kind of business it belongs to. 
  2. Has commercial value for its secret. 
  3. Is exclusively under the control of the person liable for keeping it secretive.   

Confidentiality in a contract 

Confidentiality is addressed through clauses in a contract. There can also be a separate NDA (non-disclosure agreement) or a separate confidentiality agreement for this matter. The nomenclature of the contract may be either unilateral or mutual. These contracts are basically presented to potential employees, customers, partners, suppliers, or contractual indemnifiers during or after a business deal or employment period. 

Confidentiality can be of three types in a contract: 

  • Employee Information: Let’s say you just applied for a job. Now, you will enter into a contract with the company that is employing you. At the time of recruitment, you will provide certain personal information to the company, like your home address, ID details, date of birth, or licence number, all of which will be stored in the HR department. This data is therefore confidential, and after entering into a contract, it will be the duty of the company to safeguard your information to prevent any misuse of the same. 
  • Management Information: Management is the core of a business, and whatever takes place between them or whatever communication is held between them is strictly confidential. Confidential information might include any communications, employee relations, layoffs, disciplinary actions, investigations, terminations, misconducts, or feedback.     
  • Business Information: This mostly includes trade secrets on which the entire business runs. It can be anything from processes of converting raw materials to recipes for food products, manufacturing methods, cleaning formulas, clientele, or computer programs. Such information can be anything that the general public is not aware of and shall be kept secret. 

There are several ways in which an employer can safeguard confidentiality in a contract. Confidentiality in a contract can be addressed by certain confidentiality clauses or NDAs. These prevent the signing party from divulging any sensitive information or trade secrets interchanged during board meetings, communications, contracts, or anything else. Whatever the contract or the industry may be, a confidentiality clause protects companies who want to file for damages for their information being disclosed. 

A confidentiality contract can forbid employees from going to the press, from its contractors, stooping partners from IP rights, or even limiting disclosure for business. These contracts can include employee agreements, purchase agreements, client agreements, or business associate agreements. Non-compete clauses are not always enforceable by law but are dawned upon. This is a way that everybody knows what is expected of them in a contract. 

What is breach of confidentiality in a contract  

A breach of confidentiality occurs when someone discloses some information that was meant to be kept confidential. The disclosure may be intentional or unintentional, though the violation is punishable even if there is no mens rea. For example, a breach of confidentiality occurs when a lawyer reveals information given to him during professional conversations, which is forbidden by federal laws. Here, what we are talking about is attorney-client privilege. It is something that you, as a client, disclose to your lawyer, which the lawyer has the duty or legal responsibility to keep confidential.  

To simply term it, breach of confidentiality is the illegal use or disclosure of confidential information by unauthorised access, either intentionally or unintentionally. If we take an example, let’s say the Coca-Cola case. Here, three employees offered the company’s trade secrets to PepsiCo. Their charges were laid on the grounds of stealing information and secrets that included a drink sample from the company. The sample was labelled detailed and confidential, for which they were sentenced for 8 years and other employees for 5 years, along with a fine of $40,000 for restitution.  

All administrative and marketing businesses are online, with higher confidentiality risks and confidential matters online in their databases, especially if a company’s greatest asset is its intellectual property. This intellectual property is a confidential matter, along with the asset of protecting the proprietary software. There are several marketing strategies, exclusive products, processes for manufacturing products, corporate branding, and more. 

This has increased the need for more security software and access to a lot of confidential information during work, which leads to employees posing the biggest threat to company confidentiality. They might do so by divulging ideas, digital records, and other information, for which there are some ways in which an employer can preserve the company’s integrity.    

Breach of Confidentiality by Employees and Employers in the Legal, Medical, and Other Professions 

There are several laws endowed on employers to prevent the sale or division of data that may harm their employees. Social Security or bank account numbers are confidential information, including home addresses or credit card information. The risk of foreclosure is always present due to the risks of theft, robbery, or identity theft with confidential data that employers should protect in the workplace.     

There are several companies that have distributed several innovative services and do have to keep some data about them with the manufacturing details. These details are confidential to protect the ideas from theft by competitors. There are several secrets that might be leaked by the employee that might harm the employer, which leads them to sign confidentiality agreements not to disclose the company secrets if their contract ends.  

When we talk about the medical profession, there are some circumstances that allow the disclosure of confidential information by professionals. The data is revealed only if the patient freely agrees to the breach and is fully informed of the disclosure. If a patient’s conscience is affected, the disclosure can be made with implied consent. If anybody belonging to the medical profession exposes any confidential data about which they were informed by their patients even after their death, that constitutes a breach of confidentiality, which may lead to their licence being stripped. 

When a lawyer discloses confidential data to other people, it constitutes a breach of confidentiality during professional discourse to obtain legal advice. The principle of attorney-client privilege guarantees that even if the clients confess their guilt, lawyers cannot use it against them in a court of law. There are several circumstances where this might not apply: 

  • The attorney thinks that the client might commit a crime he intended to commit in professional conversations. 
  • The attorney might disclose the data if the client intends to commit fraud. 
  • If some other people are present apart from clients and attorneys. 

All workforce members have a duty to protect confidential information. The breach of this duty includes the following:

  • If you are accessing confidential data without any reason to do something. There are several workers who are prohibited from accessing their own records and those of family members, relatives, and others. 
  • Getting unauthorised access to some people. 
  • Leaving confidential data in unattended places. 
  • Not having proper authorization to disclose confidential data. 
  • Discussing confidential data with someone else. 
  • Improperly disposing of confidential data. 
  • Disclosing data for unauthorised purposes.  

Examples of breach of confidentiality 

When we talk about confidentiality, it becomes really crucial to build business bonds. Let’s consider some examples of breach of confidentiality:    

  • Someone steals a company laptop with confidential data. 
  • An employee steals confidential data. 
  • An employee discloses information like bankruptcies and any other data they deem to be non-confidential.     
  • An employee sends an email to a client’s competitor with confidential data. 
  • An employee talks about confidential data somewhere else.  
  • The recruiter sends someone’s resume to someone. 
  • The personal trainers offer a personal training programme to other clients.    

Laws related to breach of confidentiality  

Indian Contract Act, 1872 

Section 27 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 states that every agreement forbidding a person to restrain from any awful occupations is void, as affirmed by Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution. There are non-compete and non-disclosure agreements in relation to trade secrets that are covered by this provision. A non-compete agreement denies access to the person or seller to do something for a given period of time in specified areas.  

Right to Information Act, 2005

Section 8(1)(d) of the Right to Information Act, 2005, states that no citizen is obliged to obtain data regarding any commercial confidence or trade secrets. These are intellectual property that are supposed to be emitted only for the greater public motive, which has to be balanced between their right to access data and also to preserve the confidentiality of their companies. 

Indian Penal Code, 1860

Section 405 of the Indian Penal Code states what a criminal breach of trust is. This section makes a person liable for punishment if he misappropriated any property entrusted to him contrary to the use for which it was entrusted. 

“Whoever is entrusted with property in any manner or has some control over the property dishonestly misappropriates or converts the property to his own use, which might or might not be in violation of the directions as stated by the laws prescribing the mode in which such trust is to be discharged. There might or might not be a legal contract, express or implied, that has to be made by the trustee before handing over the property, from which the alleged offender wilfully suffers if the other person is said to have committed a breach of trust.   

Information Technology Act, 2000 

Section 65 of the IT Act, 2000 states the punishment of tampering with documents, stealing, destroying, or altering any data, or causing someone else to do so, some or the other computer source codes, which have to be kept confidential by the laws. However, trade secrets are much more than what is stored or written. Trade secrets are expertise that someone gains through their intellect, experience, skills, and knowledge, which might not constitute a computer source code. 

Section 72 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, gives the penalty for the breach of confidentiality and privacy. If any person who has such powers as mentioned under this Act or rules and, in its furtherance, secures access to any electronic record, book, register, correspondence, information, document, or other material without the consent of the person concerned with these items or makes any other person do so, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both.  

Draft National Innovation Act, 2008 

The Department of Science and Technology introduced the Draft National Innovation Act, 2008, (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”) with the object of codifying and consolidating the confidentiality laws to protect confidential data, trade secrets, innovations, and others. Chapter VI lays down the provisions for the protection of trade secrets, titled Confidentiality and Confidential Information and Remedies and Offences. 

Article 39 of the WTO Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement lays down the definition of undisclosed data as confidential data that is to be taken care of with the utmost scrutiny and legal barriers.

Section 8 of the Act states the right of parties to set out terms and conditions that they want to be followed in a confidentiality agreement while signing contracts. There are confidentiality and non-disclosure contracts in place to prevent their employees from disclosing the company’s trade secrets and other confidential data. Section 8(3) of the Draft National Innovation Act, 2008 provides for confidentiality arising from non-contractual relationships or in equity, which arise from a notion of confidence.          

Section 10 of the Act states the remedies for the protection and preservation of confidentiality from all kinds of orders or threatened misappropriations. 

Section 11 of the Act states the exceptions to misappropriation of confidential data that is involved in the public domain, data derived independently, or data that has to be held confidential for the public good by a court of law.         

Section 12 of the Act provides for mandatory and permanent injunctions. This is an extensive section providing for preventive or mandatory injunctions restraining the misappropriation of confidential data when any other remedy, like damages, is dissolved. Section 13 of the Act provides for such damages, and Section 14 of The Act provides immunity for acts done in good faith in accordance with breach of confidentiality.   

Remedies for breach of confidentiality 


In several cases, the plaintiff does not want monetary compensation but wants the data to be kept confidential from the public by the court order of injunctions. The court orders the defendants to refrain from further utilising or disclosing trade secrets or data to prevent the use of proprietary data from causing irreparable harm. 

Accounts of profit

This remedy forbids the defendants from obtaining any profits from the breached data and forbids them from utilising it for their own purposes. 


Damages are the remedy that is most sought after in cases of breach of confidentiality, such as punitive damages to punish the wrongful conduct of the breached data and to recover the plaintiff’s loss.  

Information Technology Rules, 2011  

The Information Technology Rules deal with the protection of the confidential data of a person and must include: 

  • Sexual orientations 
  • Credit card, debit card, bank account, and other payment instrument details with the financial records 
  • Physical and physiological, with medical records and history 
  • Passwords and Biometrics          

There are reasonable security practices laid out for these rules to be practised when it comes to confidentiality. Several procedures are laid down for the data that the corporation or any person on behalf of the corporation collects, receives, possesses, stores, deals with or handles. This data is required to be stored in confidentiality and not be disclosed when talking about personal sensitive data. If any breach occurs, the corporation or any other person performing on their behalf may be held liable for the suit of claims and damages.     

  • The Information Technology Rules only apply to corporate bodies or people present in India as clarified by a press note issued by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology wherein the press note stated the same as mentioned above. 

Rule 3 of the 2011 Rules provides for several items to be listed as confidential or sensitive personal data. This includes data that is inter alia to the security of a person, such as passwords, credit cards, debit cards, biometrics, medical conditions, and other data that is freely available or accessible to the public and is generally not considered confidential data.     

Rule 4 imposes certain details on corporate bodies that have to get confidential data for their privacy policies and to make the data accessible to everybody else. The privacy policy that is to be followed has to be clearly published on the corporate organisation’s websites or portals and also have the details of the data to be followed on the website as well as the purpose for which it has to be followed with reasonable security concerns to be undertaken for the confidentiality of that data. 

Rule 5 provides for the corporate bodies guidelines to be followed while collecting this confidential data, and the corporations have to follow these guidelines: 

  1. Get consent from the person the data belongs to and fax or email the person before collecting any confidential data about that person that is provided by some mode of telecommunications.     
  2. The data about a person that is to be kept confidential cannot be received unless it is for lawful or necessary uses, will be used for the purpose intended by that data, and will only be retained for the time frame that is intended to be retained for 
  3. The corporations must ensure that people who are providing the required data are well aware of the specific purpose for which it is being collected and the recipients of that data. The corporations must provide the names, addresses, and contacts of the agencies involved in retaining and collecting the data; 
  4. Not to retain the data more than is required by the people for which purpose it was collected and can be lawfully used and is as such required for the time for which it is collected and will be used;
  5. Give the chance to the people whose data is collected to review the data, make changes, and correct the data;
  6. Give the people the opportunity to not provide the data before it is collected and stored;
  7. Keep the data collected secure, and
  8. Appoint grievance officers to the people who gave their data with their contacts and names on the website to address any grievances from the people as soon as possible. 

Rule 6 states that all corporate bodies must always seek the permission of the people before providing any data to other sites or people. If a government agency takes such actions, no prior permission is required because they are mandated by law or might be an order of the law itself. Rule 8 states that corporate bodies must follow reasonable security processes and procedures in compliance with international standards to maintain data security.  

Consequences of breach of confidentiality  

When you are authorised with confidential data, you have the duty not to publicise it or export it somewhere else. The employees that have access to that data have the obligatory duty not to publicise that data and there are some consequences of a breach of proprietary: 


Since the employees who disclose confidential data are malicious and are no longer needed by the employers, this leads to their termination. The employer has the legal right to terminate the employees who breach even if there is no confidentiality clause signed up, which is also a breach of the agreement.        


There are several instances of a lawsuit being filed against several employees for breaching confidentiality agreements by the employers, like the cases where secrets have been revealed for the loss of the business and the employees had to pay punitive damages. 

Criminal charges

If the breach of confidentiality leads to infringement of copyrights or intellectual property, it can lead to several criminal offences as well. 


The employee’s reputations can be tarnished if they derange data in the place of business with long-term harm to the employment.    

Prevention of breach of confidentiality 

The data that is stored with employees as confidentiality is supposed to be confidential and protected at all costs. There are several ways to prevent breaches:  

Improve training

There is confidentiality training for every employee when they are employed by a company, which stresses the importance of locking computers and not discussing clients in public places. If you work with freelancers, it’s also important that they understand your confidentiality policies. This may involve freelance training sessions and the use of freelance non-disclosure agreements.

Use contract law

Organisations should require each staff member to sign an employee non-disclosure agreement (NDA). NDAs can help protect both the organisation and the client in the event of a breach. Additionally, NDAs make it very clear what information can and cannot be shared.

Limit access to sensitive data

Organisations should restrict access to sensitive data. Confidential information should be kept on a need-to-know basis. Staff who do not need access to data to complete daily tasks should not be granted access. The fewer people who have access to sensitive data, the less likely a breach is to occur.

Use passwords and encryption

Data should be protected using passwords and encryption. This can reduce the risk of cybercrime and prevent a third party from accessing data if a company device is lost or stolen.

Get the right business insurance

Business insurance will not prevent breaches from occurring. However, professional indemnity insurance can protect your business should a costly breach occur. Cyber insurance can also be a good option for organisations that store a lot of sensitive data in the cloud.

For organisations and employees alike, understanding confidentiality is a basic professional responsibility. For this reason, ensuring policies are functional and up-to-date is an essential part of modern management. 

Important case laws   

American Express Bank Ltd. v. Ms. Priya Puri (2006)

Facts of the case 

This case covers the plaintiff as a banking company and the defendant as their employee as the head of wealth management. The plaintiff made a statement that the defendant quit the bank, went off to work at one of its competitors, and used the bank’s data to pitch in clients for the current bank. The plaintiff filed a suit for a permanent and mandatory injunction to restrain the defendant from using any trade secrets of the bank with her employment places as a result of the breach of confidentiality that allegedly occurred, which the plaintiff proved by showing the terms and conditions of the employee’s code of conduct in the letter of appointment that was acknowledged by the employee as well. The defendant claimed that the clients are well-known and anybody can reach them without any contacts or trade secrets. The defendant also claimed that she made those contacts herself with the clients and obtained the data from their directories. The bank does not have proprietary rights to those relationships and thus cannot stop the defendant from using those connections. 

Issues raised  

Whether the respondent used the confidential data to breach confidentiality and use trade secrets for her own gain? 


Here, the Delhi High Court held that the plaintiff had not produced enough evidence to show that a breach occurred or that they had any exclusive rights over those connections. The respondent merely had customer data which would not benefit her in any way to make the customers switch to her with minimal records.  

Sandhya Organic Chemicals Pvt Ltd & Ors v. United Phosphorus Ltd & Anr (1997) 

Facts of the case 

The appellant has approached the court in an appeal against the order passed against him previously for interim injunctions. This restricted the appellant from using the manufacture of AIP and ZnP for any purposes of his own. The plaintiff was sued in the previous case because he had covenanted not to divulge any confidential data gained during the employment period. Here, the plaintiff used the know-how of using phosphorus to develop the substances for the company, the court ruled that he breached confidentiality. The plaintiff has stated that the trial court ignored the rules of Order 39 of the CPC. He further claimed the trial court had virtually decided the verdict without a trial and granted interim relief when the plaintiff had no proprietary rights on the trademark and could not sue him or obtain an injunction over the terms of the contract.  

Issues raised 

Whether a service covenant for confidentiality exceeding the term of employment is void? 


The High Court held that unless a patent or design is already registered, there are no proprietary rights that the plaintiff can claim, and if there is a covenant that is signed to extend after the term of employment, it will be void.   

Escorts Const. Equipment Ltd. v. Action Const. Equipment P. Ltd. (1998) 

Facts of the case 

This case deals with the issue of the manufacture of some Pick-N-Carry mobile cranes that were constructed by design that the plaintiff owned as used by the defendant. The defendants submitted drawings which were identical to that of the plaintiff with specific identifiable marks as well. 

Issues raised 

Whether the defendants had breached confidentiality by stealing the designs of the plaintiff? 


The decision of the court relied on gauging the extent of data that could be transferred by someone and in what manner it would be transferred. The Delhi High Court prohibited the transfer of any confidential data, technical know-how, the details of the administrations of the manufacturing process that were used to build that particular product, or any other matters pertaining to the organisations that the manufacturers gained from previously working with. The confidential data can be protected by the employer even after the employment period of the people involved in deploying and using it, even after on-disclosure clauses. These clauses are set in place to safeguard the goodwill of a company or its assets that consist of such data that can be harmful to the reputations of their trade secrets and other employers as well.  

RK Dalmia v. Delhi Administration (1962)      

Facts of the case 

In this case, section 405, i.e. criminal breach of trust was discussed in terms of breach of confidentiality. The case talks about property being any intellectual property as referred to in section 405 of the Indian Penal Code.  

Issues raised 

Whether property can be movable property as defined under the Act? 


It was held by the Supreme Court that property can be anything, including trademarks, secrets, patents, or other copyright, as there is no specification of movable property in the scope of property that is protected in non-disclosure agreements. The property can be intellectual property, which, during any employment contract, is revealed to the people being employed and cannot be protected from any other people. So, there can be other contractual or non-contractual agreements preventing the employees from disclosing this data.  

Narayan Chandra Mukherjee v. State of Bihar (2000)

Facts of the case 

The case talks about an employee who accepted the role of CEO of a rival company while the defendant was still working or was employed with the old company. The employee signed an agreement when he was employed by the company that he would not divulge any data that is confidential to the company and is shared with him. The employee did the contrary and divulged all major trade secrets and official documents of the company, including official trade secrets, equipment, plans, and other documents. 

Issues raised 

Did the employee collude to commit a breach of confidentiality while divulging the data? 


The complainant was held liable for the breach of confidentiality for entering into a conspiracy and committing a criminal breach of trust. 

Homag India Private Ltd. v. Mr. Ulfath Ali Khan & Other (2012)

Facts of the case 

This case deals with the Indian subsidiary of the Homaga Group, which provided machines and other factory installations for the furniture and house construction industries. The defendant was employed by the plaintiff as a service engineer, after which he was given two promotions in 2009, during which he was given access to some confidential data. After some time, the defendant left the company to go work for the other defendant. When the employment was being terminated, the plaintiff noticed that the defendant had sent several emails detailing the confidential data, like commissioned reports, offers, technical details, and others, that was given to the defendant by the other defendant in the case. The defendants colluded and were going to build another private limited company.  

Issues raised 

  • Whether the use of the plaintiff’s data can be considered a breach of confidentiality? 
  • Whether the two defendants colluded to form a separate company? 


The Karnataka High Court granted an injunction against the defendants based on the data and held that the defendants colluded to set up a private rival company.   

Burlington Homes Shopping Pvt. Ltd. v. Ajnish Chibber (1995)

Facts of the case 

The case revolves around the plaintiff, who is a mail order service company that publishes several mail order catalogues that are given to the select list of clients of the plaintiff with several items as well. The plaintiff claimed that on severing its relationship with him, the defendant was the competitor as he entered into a mail order business as well. The plaintiff said the defendant had obtained the databases to create relationships with the plaintiff’s clients for his own business. The plaintiff asked for an injunction for this matter, and the defendant argued that the plaintiff did not have a copyright over the databases, which does not make the databases a copyrighted property. 

Issues raised 

Whether the defendant has committed a breach of confidentiality and whether the databases were copyrighted data as the plaintiff claims. 


The court held that to determine an imitation of a work, there are several things to consider, and while going through the floppy drives of the defendant, the court found several entries that were word to word similar to those of the plaintiff. 

Mr. X v. Hospital Z (1998) 

Facts of the case 

The plaintiff here is a person who was tested HIV+ in hospitals, and one of those hospitals disclosed it to his future spouse. The plaintiff moved the court to collect damages against the hospital for breach of confidentiality because the doctor disclosed the data illegally, which led to the spouse calling off the marriage. 

Issues raised 

Whether the respondent could be held liable for acts of good faith while breaching confidentiality? 


The court determined while deciding the case that indeed the plaintiff had the right to privacy to the data, though the future spouse also had the right to lead a healthy life. Since the latter enforced public morality, the court had to rule in favour of that right and passed the rule that the disclosure of a serious disease to another person of interest is not deemed a breach of confidentiality.  


A breach of confidentiality arises when a person entrusted with confidential data about something or someone that is authentic and is the proprietary right of someone or something breaches the trust that was laid on him and commits the offence of breach of confidentiality. The remedies for a breach of confidentiality can be achieved through injunctions or compensations. In the corporate world, where a large amount of data flows, breaches of confidentiality are hard to get rid of easily, and this is why several legislations have been put in place for such damages. Since the corporate world has loads of data that is disseminated on a large scale, provisions for breach of confidentiality need to exist to lead the course of punishments for the offenders.   

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  

What are the major consequences that arise from a breach of confidentiality of clients?  

The major consequences of a breach of confidentiality clause by clients include lawsuits, injunctions, damages, employee terminations, and loss of business relationships. This breach occurs when a confidentiality agreement is stamped upon by another as a result of a loss of trust and other material damages inflicted on the plaintiff. 

Under what circumstances can someone breach confidentiality?  

There are several conditions under which it becomes absolutely essential for people to break confidentiality for the greater good. If the client is in immediate danger to themselves or to others, there are no restrictions on breaking confidentiality.  In another circumstance that might occur where the other person cannot protect themselves from another imminent threat, it becomes essential to breach confidentiality. Other situations when it becomes essential to lay out some secrets or data are when someone has to obtain payments for their work or someone else’s work. There might be several circumstances where a breach of confidentiality might be required by federal laws as well. 

How do you keep data confidential?  

There are several ways in which you can maintain confidentiality by carefully disseminating the data for which it is intended. You must always verify the identity of the person you are disclosing this data to so that you will know that there is a need for them to know such data.       

What are the disadvantages of a breach of confidentiality? 

The person who discloses confidential data makes the other person suffer losses but also makes himself suffer some other effects as well. The offender will suffer a huge loss of money, confidential data, valuable trade secrets, relationships, proprietary data, and damage to their reputations.        

Can a pre-existing relationship between the parties determine the confidentiality of information?  

When we talk about pre-existing relationships between parties to a contract, a duty of confidentiality does arise due to the fact that the other person knows certain data about the other and can be expected to maintain confidentiality. In the case of Attorney General v. Guardian Newspaper Ltd. (1990), the court of the UK diluted the presumption of equitable remedies. The court held that whether or not the offender is aware of the confidentiality bestowed to him, he shall be held liable for the breach. The data that is being held confidential must have the nature to do so, the circumstances to be in, the obligations to keep it, and the authorizations for the use of such to be confidential.     



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here