Eye on Ethics: Protecting Privileged Information
Department (Manual Entry)
School of Social Work
It is important for social workers to understand the distinction between confidentiality and privileged communication. Confidentiality refers to the professional norm that information offered by or pertaining to clients will not be shared with third parties. Privilege refers to the disclosure of confidential information in court or during other legal proceedings. Courts commonly cite the following four conditions that must be satisfied for information to be considered privileged:
Reamer, Frederic G., “Eye on Ethics: Protecting Privileged Information,” Social Work Today, vol. 7 (6), 2007, pp. 16-17.