Privacy and confidentiality have been top-of-mind for many lately given the highly-publicized recent developments at Google and Facebook. So in honor of Data Privacy Day, we decided to take a moment to reiterate some of the key components of Maven’s policies on privacy and confidentiality.

What is our policy on confidentiality and privacy? Simply put, Maven respects and protects private and confidential information and obligates all other users to do the same. Additionally, our platform provides users the flexibility to customize their privacy and confidentiality settings. Maven’s user agreements contain several sections that address confidentiality.

For example, the Protection of Third Party Confidential Information section obligates users to not disclose confidential information that belongs to third parties. For example, let’s say you are working on a confidential project at your employer’s factory. You should never disclose information about this project to anyone, including Maven or our customers. While this may strike you as common sense, it’s important to be reminded of the need to respect confidential information.

The Confidentiality of Maven and Maven Client Information paragraph obligates users to not disclose to others information that they acquire by virtue of participating in Maven. This includes information such as the nature of an inquiry or the subject of a consultation. For example, let’s say you are a home solar panel installer. Our customer may want to discuss with you your opinion of the advantages and disadvantages of the various solar products on the market. In the course of your discussion, the client might mention that they are developing a solar mobile telephone… or perhaps you guess such a thing is planned based on your conversation. Either way, you are obligated to keep this information confidential and refrain from telling others what you learned (or inferred) from the customer.

We practice what we preach. In the Confidentiality of Your Information paragraph, Maven promises to protect your privacy and your confidential information. We urge you to take advantage of our privacy customization tools. Just as “everybody knows something,” everybody has different privacy concerns. For example, an independent consultant who is well known in her industry may want to be identified on Maven by her name, whereas someone else who does not want their current employer to know he is open to new employment opportunities may opt to keep his identity private; in fact, to provide additional privacy, you can even use our domain blocker to prevent your profile from appearing in certain search results.

We also obligate our customers to keep all information in respect of our members confidential. Our customer agreement contains parallel provisions to those described above that protect you in the same way your agreement with Maven protects the customer.

We strive to protect the privacy and confidentiality of all Maven users. All participants must respect their obligations to preserve a secure and ethical knowledge marketplace. It’s good business, common sense – and your legal responsibility.