Employees often gain access to or use confidential information belonging to their employer such as client data and lists, marketing strategies, product designs, inventions, and sensitive business and financial information.
Under common law, confidential information is only protectable during employment, not after; only trade secrets may be protected post-termination. As such, it is essential that employees who are privy to confidential information are bound by obligations of confidentiality in their contracts of employment to improve the common law position. These usually prevent employees from using confidential information or disclosing it to third parties during employment or after it has ended.
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