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I can see validity in the statement. Businesses are bound to protect "trade secrets" and other information that contribute to market competitiveness and overall financial flexibility. I think that information protection is vitally important to this process. Businesses have to go through procedures and mechanisms that ensure information transfer is conducted properly and without compromising its integrity. I do think that there can be an exchange of information in a manner that respects confidentiality agreements and boundaries. It should not be construed that businesses cannot work with one another in exchanging intelligence and information if it results in a beneficial agreement for both sides. Yet, I believe that these compacts have to be agreed upon and reviewed fully so that all parties can understand what is at stake in the exchange of said information.
This statement makes a great deal of sense. For many, if not all, firms, information is a key to future success. I think that this is true of at least two kinds of information -- information about customers and information about future plans.
Nowadays, so much business is conducted on the internet that the security of customer information is critical. If customers buy from you using credit cards, you business cannot survive if it gets a reputation for lack of security. Just a few customers who have their identities stolen due to your lack of security can destroy your reputation.
In addition, businesses must protect their strategic secrets. If a business's plans and internal documents are leaked, competitors will gain important knowledge. Competitors will be able to move to head off any plans that a given firm has for expansion. The competitors will know what a firm is trying to do and will be able to "play defense" to prevent that from happening.
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