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Non Disclosure Agreements (What's the point?)


Non Disclosure Agreements (What's the point?)

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Steve-3_5_7_9
Steve-3_5_7_9
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I have been with my company for over 10 years and the last 7 years my job has been that of a DBA. Recently I've been asked to sign a non closure agreement for a particular system and I hesitated and not yet signed the agreement for the following reasons.

1. As a DBA, one of our primary duties is to secure the data and ensure it's not "improperly accessed" or compromised. Signing a non disclosure agreement doesn't change this fundamental practice.

2. What are the repercussions? Whether the agreement is signed, or not the end result is the same. If I sign the agreement and then disclose the data, I would be terminated. If I don't sign the agreement, or if I compromise data in other systems, I could be terminated. To me there is no point, even a legal point as the end result is the same.

The security on this system is no different than other systems that I'm currently assigned to, in fact, there is more sensitive data on some other systems.

I can see the requirement for signing such a document for employees whose role isn't of that of a DBA, such as system developer or B.A. as securing data isn't their primary role.

What are your thoughts and experiences with the Non Disclosure Agreements? Is it pointless to even make an issue out of this? Are my points valid?

Thanks,

Steve



Henrico Bekker
Henrico Bekker
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Point is, they don't have a list of things you may, or may not disclose.
This is in general. "don't disclose any private information regarding our company", which I fully back.

If you start your own company, I'm sure you'd expect your employees to keep company secrets to themselves?
Alot of information may seem trivial to you, but could hurt a company financially.

At the end, it's more a basic protection against their employees selling information.
And, if you want to work there, why make a fuss of this? Except if you plan on disclosing information?

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Steve-3_5_7_9
Steve-3_5_7_9
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Thanks for the comment.

Ok, I see the point about company secrets, but this has to do with the data in a specific system.

Additionally it's illegal for me to sell the data whether or not a NDA is on record so how is the company offered more protection.



steveb.
steveb.
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Steve-3_5_7_9 (6/15/2010)
Thanks for the comment.

Ok, I see the point about company secrets, but this has to do with the data in a specific system.

Additionally it's illegal for me to sell the data whether or not a NDA is on record so how is the company offered more protection.



Depending on where you live the NDA makes it easier for them to go after you (and your money) personally if there are any breaches of the NDA.

You are right in saying that the results are simliar whether you sign or not, However The NDA gives them a clear legal path that could be a lot easier and cheaper to enforce and not so open to appeals.
Henrico Bekker
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They can sue you, and the company who paid/hired you to steal the information, and prevent the "thieves" from using the information.
They will also ensure you never work at any important place, I know financial institutions have a "black list" or people to never employ.

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Grant Fritchey
Grant Fritchey
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It's a legal compliance within what should be your standards anyway... sign it. No big deal.

You just have to be careful about language. I had a company that wanted me to sign a non-compete that said I wouldn't work with any tools or languages that used tcpip to collect data and put it into a database. I had to explain to the lawyers that meant I could never work at my job, ever again, depending on how the document was interpreted. Needless to say, I didn't sign it. They came up with a better one.

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Steve-3_5_7_9
Steve-3_5_7_9
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Thanks, Grant. I'll scrutinize their wording to make sure no "funny business" is going on.

In the end, I suppose it isn't a big deal.



GilaMonster
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It's usually no big deal. I've got a drawer full of NDA documents.


Gail Shaw
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Steve Cullen
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Investors often require all employees to sign NDAs. Your company may replace anyone refusing to sign with someone who will. ;-)

Converting oxygen into carbon dioxide, since 1955.


Grant Fritchey
Grant Fritchey
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Yeah, NDA's are easy. It's Non-Compete's that I worry about.

----------------------------------------------------
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
Theodore Roosevelt

The Scary DBA
Author of: SQL Server Query Performance Tuning and SQL Server Execution Plans
Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software
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