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 KnowTrade 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 & SafetyIn 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||Right To Know|
|Definition||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.|
This is the complete list of articles we have written about business ethics.
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