A modern-day confidentiality dilemma

Within the subject area of Information Governance, we very often talk about privacy and confidentiality. Even the lowly sales folk like me who are generally considered stupid appreciate the basics around good information security practices and confidentiality.

This week I have found myself in an interesting scenario, whereby I could potentially put myself at risk of a breach of confidentiality simply by trying to be helpful and improve a product. I’ll explain….

One of my 2013 New Years resolutions was to properly embrace GTD, figure out a system, and find a good to-do app/service, that would hook into my preferred way of working. Cue buying the GTD ebook, lots of reading, lots of research, revisited apps previously bought, hung around on LinkedIn discussion groups, etc. etc. (You get the picture)

I’d subscribed to Evernote a couple of years ago and was starting to use it more and more, so decided to try some of the emerging apps that would work with it. My thinking was that Evernote would become my “bucket” or “inbox” (in GTD parlance) and then I would find an app, service for this methodology. Enter 2 interesting services that I saw mentioned on several discussion groups; Zendone and IQTell. Both are in a private Beta, which you apply for, answer a few questions (to make sure you aren’t wasting anyone’s time) and away you go.

Cutting to the chase, I tried both and decided that Zendone seemed the more likely one to fit my needs, so out of courtesy I responded to a “how are we doing” email from IQTell. My email response basically said that i found the other interface more intuitive, which suits my way of working. Also, I found the Evernote integration was more slick Then came the questions, which sit me squarely on the horns of a dilemma; “Which aspects of the interface are more beneficial?” and “What made the integration slick?”

Having gone back through the emails I received during sign-up (and also scouring both websites) I cannot find anything relating to a confidentiality agreement or similar. On the one hand, I would like to share some information in order to help the IQTell team improve – but equally, it would be unfair to share the “secret sauce” of Zendone’s interface. Of course, journalists publish reviews and comparisons all the time (as do normal Joe Public types like me) – the question is, at what point does sharing views and opinion cross the boundaries of confidentiality? Furthermore, in view of the fact that there is no obvious agreement, does this exonerate me?

In the meantime, the email is still in my inbox…..

About Paul O'Sullivan

Speak plainly, work ethically, challenge stupidity

Posted on November 27, 2012, in General musings. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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