Are Your Secrets Safe

Full Video Transcript

Most of us have revealed secrets to our friends or significant others, information we certainly don’t want made public, but feel safe divulging to those people we trust. Problems tend to arise if the relationship sours and that person you once trusted ends up telling your secrets to everyone they know. Can you sue for something like that? Well, while it certainly feels like a violation of your rights, in most cases you don’t have a legal right to sue, or else you would hear of a lot more about people suing each other. There are a couple of exceptions to this rule though. Of course, those people who have a legal obligation of confidentiality like lawyers, doctors, psychiatrists, etc., must not reveal your secrets unless legally obligated to do so by a court. Also, certain business secrets may be protected by law if they qualify as a trade secret or intellectual property. Finally, there is a distinction between a secret that is true and a rumor. People can’t go around telling false stories about you or falsely embellishing otherwise truthful secrets about you in a way that would constitute defamation of character, for example. Now, the situations in which you can sue somebody for spilling your secrets are usually pretty specific. In general, if you put it out there and you told somebody, your secret might not be so secret anymore.

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The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.