Confidentiality vs Privacy
Difference between confidentiality and privacy is a bit troublesome to understand. Confidentiality and privacy are two words that have been discussed often and confused by people leading to laws pertaining to confidentiality being made. This is because of similarity in meanings of the two words. Mostly, the two words are used in professions such as medical and legal though there are more spheres of life where the two words are being used today. Let us take a closer look to understand and appreciate the differences between confidentiality and privacy. Privacy protects the access to the person while confidentiality protects the access to the data.
What does Privacy mean?
Privacy means the state of being free from public attention. Privacy is when you choose to keep your matters to yourself. If you are in a hotel with your wife and worried as people are roaming around, and may have access to the activities in your room, you may desire more privacy, which means you want to be left alone so that nobody sees or hears you while you are in the room. Similarly, when you go to a doctor for an ailment that makes you feel embarrassed to tell the doctor about it in open; you want to be left alone with the doctor in his cabin so that no one else hears what you say. This also connotes more privacy for you. These are just two instances, and there can be literally thousands of such incidents that demonstrate privacy or the need of it.
Thus, it becomes clear that privacy is the right of individuals from information about them being disclosed. Privacy is not restricted to just information, as even an individual, when he is involved in private acts of bathing, etc. requires privacy from others, as he does not want others to see him in his private moments. In medical and legal professions, clients decide who, when and where to share their private information, and how much.
What does Confidentiality mean?
Confidentiality means the intention to be kept secret. Confidentiality refers to the act of keeping information, documents or objects safely tucked from the hands and eyes of those who are not meant to see or hear them. There can be dozens of instances of confidentiality being required such as sensitive documents of government, documents containing the client’s information in possession of a doctor or a lawyer, and so on. Many treaties and agreements between companies and governments are sensitive and require confidentiality. On the other hand, confidentiality is how the private information that has been disclosed is kept under wraps or guarded so that others do not have access to it.
Patients and clients disclose private information to their doctors or lawyers in a relationship of trust, and they want their privacy to be protected; in the sense, that the confidential information is not leaked to others. With technology pervading every aspect of our lives, it has become a serious concern to maintain privacy and confidentiality of information about people. Taking a simple example, we can understand the difference between privacy and confidentiality. A client accused of a crime tells his lawyer facts about himself that are private and expects the lawyer to maintain confidentiality of this information, while fighting his case.
You must have seen letters and documents that say ‘Private and Confidential. ’ In these instances, private means restricted access or restricted only to the few while confidential means not to disclose the information contained in the document to unauthorized people. So if you receive a letter saying private and confidential that means you are one of the few who have access to such information and you should not make any unauthorized disclosure of that information.
What is the difference between Confidentiality and Privacy?
• Privacy protects the access to the person while confidentiality protects the access to the data.
• Privacy is when you choose to keep your matters to yourself.
• Confidentiality refers to the act of keeping information, documents or objects safely tucked from the hands and eyes of those who are not meant to see or hear them.
• When it comes to confidentiality someone else that you trust knows information about yourself which they cannot tell others without your consent.