‘Privileged communication’ is a legal term, applied in many Western countries (including both mine and yours, unless I’m very much mistaken), that applies to any interaction that is required, by law, to remain confidential.
Critically, the law cannot force disclosure in these cases and the party that initially started the communication has the legal right to stop the second party from revealing any information pertaining to the discussion, even in a court of law.
According to ‘Investopedia.com’,
“Typically, privileged communications refer to communications between attorney and client, accountant and client, doctor or therapist and patient, priest and parishioner or husband and wife (and, in some states, reporters and their sources). The recipient of the information must keep the communication private, unless the privilege is waived by the discloser of the information.
There are conditions that must be met in order to preserve the confidential status of these communications. First, the communication must be between people in a legally recognized protected relationship. Next, the communication must take place in a private setting, where the communicators have a reasonable expectation of confidentiality (like a private office). Lastly, the privileged status of the communication is lost if or when the communication is shared with a third party that is not part of the protected relationship (however, agents of the recipient of the information – such as an accountant’s secretary or a doctor’s nurse – would generally not be considered a third party that defeats the privileged status of the communication)”.
I must point out at this time that the ‘Hey, Chris’ column is NOT an example of privileged communication. In fact, in my entire life, I severely doubt that anyone who has ever had a conversation with me has ever felt ‘privileged’ about it in any way. SOB!