How do I protect confidential information?

Written by Daniel Crate | April 21, 2022

Data Protection

The Easter Bunny pulled off his annual stunt again on Sunday. Not bad given the global supply chain issues.

However, what may seem like a logistical miracle of designing, making, packaging and distributing millions of decorative eggs globally within a short window, is in fact, wrapped up in lots of confidential information. It also comes with its own stresses.

Some years ago, after getting burnt by a rogue helper, the Easter Bunny sought legal advice about how to protect his confidential information to ensure others couldn’t steal his trade secrets. This ranged from:-

  • Painting the entrance and key areas within bunny HQ with “Highly Confidential” in 6-foot collages overnight.
  • Securing non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with contractors, helpers and the design teams at bunny HQ.
  • Entering watertight agreements with manufactures to ensure his recipes remained secret.
  • Ensuring his password protected Excel spreadsheet for his year-round operation can only be shared within his top 3 HQ executives.
  • Implementing spot checks to ensure nobody left HQ with work commercially sensitive documents.
  • Wearing dark shades and insisting detailed minutes are taken during meetings where trade secrets are discussed.
  • Informing new helpers of his confidential information policy on day one (both within their contracts and via a 24-minute semi animated corporate video).

So, what is breach of confidence?

In broad terms for a breach of confidence claim to succeed the following 3 elements need to be established:-

  1. The information itself must have the necessary quality of confidence; and
  2. The information must have been imparted in circumstances importing an obligation of confidence (i.e., imposed by an employment contract or NDA); and
  3. There has been an actual or threatened unauthorised use of that information to the detriment of the party who owns the information.

How Briffa can help you

We provide our clients with strategies to implement in order to mitigate the risk of confidential information being passed to unintended parties and competitors in the first place.

With the above in place, when things do go wrong, it helps our clients maximise the likelihood of successfully bringing a breach of confidence claim. Likewise, we can help businesses and individuals defend breach of confidence claims.

If you would like help about confidential information, please feel free to contact one of our expert lawyers.

Written by Dan Crate – Solicitor

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