As a consultant, my clients must be able to trust me with confidential data. If my clients can’t trust me, then my business is gone. I sign contracts will all of my clients, which nearly always include non-disclosure agreements. But those NDAs simply say that I wouldn’t do something and if I do then my client’s get $X from me.
But what if these contracts don’t exist for some reason? Maybe I’m at a conference, and someone asks me to look over their shoulder and give my opinion on an error message they receive. Legally I can talk about anything I see, and there’s no redress that the company would have because I have no contracts with them. However, I wouldn’t tell anyone about what I saw on your laptop screen, whether I have a contract with a company or not, because that’s the kind of person or consultant that I am.
Bringing in a consultant that has shared confidential information, even if they weren’t the one that originally saw the confidential information, would worry me a lot. What’s to say that they wouldn’t share your confidential information? Would your contract and/or non-disclosure agreement be enough to make sure that they don’t share your confidential information? What would you do at that point to ensure that your confidential information stayed confidential?
Having a consultant that would share your private data, even if they don’t have a contract to protect that data, probably isn’t someone that you want to keep around as your consultant.
Something to think about.