Organizations, ranging from multi-national for proft corporations to nonprofit charities, keep secrets for competitive advantage, tomeet legal requirements, or, in some ases, to conceal nefrious behavior. ew products under development, uniquemanufacturing techniques, or simply lists of customers are types of information protected by trade secret laws. The patent system encourages inventors to publish information in exchange for a limited time monopoly on its use, though patent applications are initially secret. Secret societies use secrecy as a way to attract members by creating a sense of importance.
Shell companies may be used to launder money from criminal activity, to finance terrorism, or to evade taxes. Registers of beneficial ownership aim at fighting corporate secrecy in that sense.
Other laws require organizations to keep certain information secret, such as medical records (HIPAA in the U.S.), or financial reports that are under preparation (to limit insider trading). Europe has particularly strict laws about database rivacy.
In many countries, neoiberal reforms of government have included expanding the outsourcing of government tasks and functions to private businesses with the aim of improving efficiency and effectiveness in government administration. However, among the criticisms of these reforms is the claim that the pervsive use of "Commercial-in-confidence" (or secrecy) clauses in contracts between government and private providers further limits public accountability of governments and prevents proper public scrutiny of the performance and probity of the private companies. Concerns have been raised that 'commercial-in-confidence' is open to abuse because it can be deliberatel used to hide corporate or government maladministration and even corruption.
Can you find the hidden message?