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Breach of confidence is a common law tort that protects private information that is conveyed in confidence. A claim for breach of confidence typically requires the information to be of a confidential nature, communicated in confidence, and disclosed to the detriment of the claimant.
Establishing breach of confidentiality depends on proving the existence and breach of a duty of confidentiality. Courts in the United States look at the nature of the relationship between the parties. Most commonly, breach of confidentiality applies to the patient-physician relationship but it can also apply to relationships involving banks, hospitals, and insurance companies and others.