Confidentiality has to do with trust and doctrine of non-disclosure, keeping secret data and information privately entrusted to us. Life is precious as well as complex. Nobody wants to be an open book to be read by all, or to expose his life to all, for security reasons. Hence, there must be classified information or data to be kept to oneself or shared with only trusted friends. Certain relationships can only function and endure under trust. Medical records require confidentiality. There is need for confidentiality between a doctor and his patients, between a banker and customers, between a marriage counselor and clients. Experts in other professions and their clients need confidentiality. Husband and wife are not excluded in this matter of confidentiality.
Friends need to keep secret what has been entrusted to them. Jesus, after healing people, would tell them not to make it public. Confidentiality is an attitude of a reformed spirit. Friends have betrayed each other because of lack of confidentiality. Many marriages have hit rocks because partners have betrayed each other. When trust is eroded in any relationship, everything becomes porous. Porous relationships are full of leakages and life becomes boring making one feel uneasy. The relationship wears away the way women’s make-up easily wears away unless constantly retouched. Unless anchored on trust, no relationship can long endure. There are certain matters discussed with someone that need not be told to other people.
Telling someone about what was told on trust is a betrayal of trust. Many business partners have parted ways because of lack of trust. Confidentiality is ethical. Violation of it is unethical and a grave sin. Those entrusted with official secrets need to maintain confidentiality with other service arms in order to work well and be believable.There was a time Facebook was accused of breaching Users’ trust by releasing their confidential data for political purposes. The owner; Mark Zuckerberg was summoned by the US congress for hours to know his motive behind the leak of Users’ data. This created fear and distrust with Users contemplating to quit if it went to the extreme. Lack of confidentiality will not promote trust and openness. Citizens suffer because of erosion of confidence in the leaders. A lose tongue is an evidence of lack of spiritual maturity and usually causes much harm.
Through gossips or idle talks, confidentiality is threatened. Watch yourself or else you will lose people’s trust. A country that is loose with classified information cannot maintain confidentiality and would be a prime target of foreign espionage and domestic blackmail. America, China and Russia have their ways of getting classified information from countries. America has been accusing Russia of meddling in their elections. This is due to compromised intelligence report. We feel very bad over how the media treat their Leaders by revealing some sad irrelevant personal pasts in the name of the so called investigative journalism. This is not patriotism but poverty of the mind. Take a look at Trump’s and Bill Cosby’s scandals.
Nothing is left in the men anymore by invading their spaces, telling us what we don’t ask for about them. Sometimes this can be vendetta and prejudice to get back at a man who has made it in life to destroy a great legacy built and crushing personalities to nothingness. This can be sad when trying to build a just society. In an attempt to build a just society we must be just in treating others that have scaled higher than us. That is why there should be justice in handling those sensitive areas. There should be a limit to our sense of judgment in media reportage. The height of a country’s security apparatus determines her confidence. Confidentiality is like oil that lubricates human relationships. People who break confidentiality have problems of low esteem. They do that to fill the emptiness of their lives and at the end they pay dearly for their actions. Any Organization or Institution that lacks confidentiality cannot survive. Maintaining confidentiality is good for the people and also for the country. Let’s try to maintain confidentiality every time to earn trust.
• Very Rev. Msgr. Livinus Ukah is a Catholic Priest, Author of many books and a social Justice and Peace