Leaking or Sharing?
by Dwayne Phillips
Is it a data leak or an information share? Perhaps it is both; perhaps it is for the greater good.
An old question has been asked again several times recently. Several decades ago I read of the non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) that the chip makers in Silicon Valley had. Employees signed legal documents stating that if they left this company for another company, they wouldn’t tell the other company how this company made stuff.
For the most part, these NDAs held. People did not reveal the secrets of patents and obvious things.
For the most part, these NDAs didn’t hold. A person on the job, any job, does what they know how to do. They don’t stop and ask themselves, “Hmmm, I learned how to chop tomatoes at the last restaurant, I signed an NDA there, so do I have to act like I don’t know how to chop tomatoes?”
These little odds and ends of knowledge learned elsewhere spill from one employer to the next. One result was that an entire regional industry advanced quickly. The knowledge shared quietly and in small pieces among the companies improved all of them.
I am now working for my fourth company in the last 14 years. I use the knowledge gained from the first three companies while working for the fourth company. Of course I do. Why wouldn’t I? I use the knowledge gained from personal study over the last forty years on all of these jobs. Of course I do.
Is that a data leak (a big no no)? Is that information sharing (a big plus to everyone)?