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The financial press has been in a frenzy over allegations of improper methods employed in connection with investigations at Hewlett-Packard Co. into leaks of confidential company information. No doubt, many commentators will pontificate about how the investigations should have been handled. These events, however, provide an opportunity to review another important corporate-governance issue — namely, the obligation of directors to preserve the confidentiality of company information. Unauthorized disclosure of company information can lead to the end of a director’s tenure on the board and invite scrutiny from regulators, shareholders and litigants.

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