Undertaking of Confidentiality

Depending on the nature of the business or the industry, some employees or freelancers may be required to sign an undertaking of confidentiality. This written agreement is designed to protect a number of things, based on the specific subject matter outlined within the agreement itself.

What an Undertaking of Confidentiality is

An undertaking of confidentiality, which may also be known as a non-disclosure agreement, is an agreement that requires a certain degree of secrecy from the involved parties. This type of contract is created to create legal obligations to privacy. Individuals who work in a sensitive industry or are going to be tasked with handling sensitive information will often need to sign a mandatory non-disclosure agreement in order to continue their employment. Those who breach such agreements may be held legally liable for their actions, with legal actions depending largely on the degree of the infraction(s) and information as listed in the agreement itself.

When it is Used

Agreements based on nondisclosure and confidentiality are commonplace in a number of industries. Some of the most common types of information protected by such an agreement include attorney-client and doctor-patient privileges. Even librarians sign such agreements in order to keep information about their clients’ books hidden from prying eyes. In more involved scenarios, individuals may need to sign such agreements in order to prevent plans or business models from leaking outside of the work environment. Information based on shopping habits may be confidential as well, and those who work in science and intelligence are almost always legally required to keep company information to themselves.

Individuals who are required to sign such an agreement may speak to a lawyer first in order to make sure that they understand all of the terms of the undertaking and what the potential legal repercussions would be in cases of breach of policy. Not every agreement is exactly the same, and planning ahead for unforeseen consequences can be a good way of preventing misunderstandings between the involved parties.