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Trade Secrets vs Right To Know

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A trade secret is a formula, method, process, practice, design, tool or database that is viewed as a competitive advantage by a firm and is kept secret from competitors.
The right to know is the idea that people be provided information about the chemicals they are exposed to in their daily life or occupation. It is supported by a variety of laws that differ by jurisdiction such as labeling regulations and occupational health and safety laws.

Trade Secret vs Right To Know

Trade secret protections may be used by firms to keep ingredients off product labels. As such, labeling laws and other regulations related to a right to know may come into conflict with trade secrets. As it is up to a firm to decide what constitutes a trade secret, this is subject to abuse. For example, it is a common consumer preference for natural ingredients in food. It is theoretically possible that firms may use trade secret protects to leave ingredients off the label that consumers may find distasteful or unattractive.

Occupational Health & Safety

In many jurisdictions, workers have a right to occupational health and safety information including lists of potentially harmful substances in the workplace. In some cases, firms have held back such information in the name of trade secrets. This is common enough that some nations have developed specific forms to apply for an exemption to hazardous materials disclosures based on trade secrets.
Trade Secrets vs Right To Know
Trade Secrets
Right To Know
A formula, method, process, practice, design, tool or database that is viewed as a competitive advantage by a firm.
A patchwork of laws that vary by country relating to a right to know about ingredients in products and hazardous substances in locations such as workplaces.

Business Ethics

This is the complete list of articles we have written about business ethics.
Agency Cost
Conflict Of Interest
Crony Capitalism
Do No Harm
Dual Agency
Environmental Issues
Ethical Climate
Ethical Issues
Fee Splitting
Fiduciary Duty
Professional Ethics
Reputational Risk
Right To Know
Self Dealing
Social Ethics
Technology Ethics
More ...
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Business Ethics

A list of issues and principles related to business ethics.

Conflict Of Interest

A few examples of conflict of interest.

Fiduciary Duty

An overview of fiduciary duty.

Precautionary Principle

An overview of the precautionary principle.

Professional Conduct

The primary elements of professional conduct.


The definition of accountability with examples.


Examples of common business and personal values.


The definition of agency with examples.

Gaming The System

The definition of gaming the system with examples.

Patent Ambush

An overview of patent ambush.

Inventive Step vs Non-Obviousness

The difference between inventive step and non-obviousness.

Defensive Publication

Defensive publications explained with an example.

Relational Capital

A definition of relational capital with examples.

Factors Of Production

Examples for each of the four factors of production.
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