We are forbidden to disclose private information. The Talmud (Yoma 4b) states that from the word saying (which denotes "say to others") we learn that a person has no right to repeat what someone tells him unless that person gives him explicit permission to do so. Below are the basic laws pertaining to secrets: 1) If someone tells you private information about his business or any personal matter, you are forbidden to disclose it to others. Your doing so could cause the person who confided in you financial loss, embarrassment, or other damage. Even if the speaker did not request that the matter remain secret, you are not allowed to repeat it. It is self-evident that the speaker does not want such information to be divulged. However, if that person related information concerning himself in the presence of three or more people and did not request secrecy, you are permitted to relate it to others. Since the speaker related it to a group of three or more people, we can assume that he does not mind if the information will be known. If, however, someone tells you about his wrongdoings, you are forbidden to try to spread that information to belittle him even if he related it in the presence of three. Although the speaker has shown that he does not mind if others know about his misbehavior, it is nonetheless forbidden for anyone to deliberately publicize his actions to embarrass him. (Chofetz Chayim, ch. 2). 2) When someone reveals to you seemingly harmless information in a manner which shows that he would like it to be kept secret, you are forbidden to repeat it to others even if he did not explicitly tell you to keep it secret. In this verse, G-d related information to Moshe in the Ohel Moaid (tent of meeting), and it was permissible for Moshe to repeat information only because G-d gave him explicit permission to do so. (B'air Mayim Chayim 2:27) 3) The Chofetz Chayim writes that it is a good habit never to repeat what people tell you unless they gave you permission to do so. In this way you will never relate information that might cause harm. (ibid.) 4) You have no right to repeat someone's secret just because you add the phrase, "Don't repeat this to anyone else." The person to whom you related to secret might follow your example and pass on the secret, also adding, "Don't repeat this to anyone else." In a very short time, the secret could become public knowledge and cause harm or embarrassment to the person who confided in you. (Pele Yoatz, section sod). 5) Husbands and wives have no right to tell each other secrets that someone told him or her in confidence. (Pele Yoatz, ibid.) 6) If you hear someone speaking r'chilus [telling one person what another said about him or her, which causes animosity], never trust him with your secrets. A person who was unable to discipline himself not to speak against others will certainly not be careful to conceal secrets. (Rabainu Yonah to Mishle 11:13).
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