As part of Dennys email about the events leading to James removal, the topic of confidentiality came up. It was argued that staff members of WMF did approach James and shared their views and insights, and requested that this information would be kept confidential, at least ( so I assume) in regards to *who* said something.
Of course, I do not know anything about the deatils of what happend in this case; but I have encountered similar circumstances in the past, so I wanted to share my thoughts on them: 1. Confidentiality is something that is not established by asking for it. That means that it is simply not enough to state that you want something to be kept confidential, for example by stating at the beginning or the end of an email: “Please keep this confidential.” If you share information with someone, than you can not control how she is going to use this information, as long as you do not have explicit or implicit guarantees. 2. Instead, confidentiality is granted. So before sharing information that you want to be kept confidential, you need to get the other party's’ agreement and consent that they will keep whatever they hear confidential. Without that, you can not expect nor demand that what you shared is to be held confidential. 3. So think hard before you grant confidentiality If someone asks you to keep something they are going to tell you confidential, think hard before you agree to it. In the case of James Heilman (or any other board member), their obligation is towards the WMF, and they can not step away from this in order to keep certain information confidential. So, in my opinion, no board member is able to grant confidentiality to a staff member, because there is a good chance that they are obliged to disclose this information under their obligations towards the WMF. There is a good way around this problem: Both parties, sender and receiver of such information, should speak about how they expect the other one to handle this information, without requesting, nor granting confidentiality. For example, you can agree to not share the personal details of who gave you the information, unless you are required to do so under your higher obligations. Or you can ask for the information that you give to be used sensible and in a way that is least impactful to the person who provided the information. And as someone who receives this info, you should point out that you will try and protect the interests of the other party as much as possible - without guaranteeing anything you can not keep. Hope that helped. Cheers, Pavel -- Mit freundlichen Grüßen / Kind regards, Pavel Richter Mobile: +49-151-19645755 Mail: m...@pavelrichter.de Twitter: @pavel <https://twitter.com/pavel> Blog: blog.pavelrichter.de _______________________________________________ Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines New messages to: Wikimediaemail@example.com Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>