LESSON 9 - disclosure

Word of the week: DISCLOSURE

Related expressions 

1. disclosing information - making information known publicly, or showing information that was hidden.
If we disclose information about the company’s losses, we might lose our current and potential shareholders. 

2. confidential – secret, often in a formal, business or military situation
All information placed on the webpage will be treated as confidential.

3. security breach – breaks in the security
Our bank has never had a security breach that is why our clients trust us more than other banks.

In context

Disclosing information or not can have very serious consequences as some American companies found out when they were attacked by a group of hackers. A Romanian group of cyber-criminals would hack into the databases of American companies and download personal and confidential information. They would blackmail the companies and demand money in exchange for not disclosing information about the security breach. The FBI was notified about the incident when one of the companies decided they would no longer be threatened by the group. Today American companies may be forced to disclose information to the public about any security breach if a disclosure bill is passed by the Supreme Court.

Disclosing information or not is a hot issue in all fields of life. What information to reveal and to whom can have a profound effect on everyday life. In the United States, Megan’s Law discloses detailed information about sexual offenders to the general public. The act was introduced in 1994 after the brutal murder of seven-year-old Megan Kanka. The girl was raped and murdered by a serial rapist who was her next-door neighbour. Today the bill allows parents to obtain information from law enforcement officers about sexual offenders in their neighbourhood.

When we can disclose confidential information and whether all information is meant to  stay confidential is a complex matter which lawyers and courts have been baffling over for a long time. A good example of a secret that has never been disclosed is the formula for making coca-cola. The trade secret has been revealed to only a few people. If the secret were to be made public it would have serious repercussions. That is why it is up to the company to keep the formula secret; otherwise we could be witnesses to the fall of one of the biggest global brands.

Read more
Megan's law
Intellectual Property Rights

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