ISO 17025:2017 Clause 4.2.2 - The difference between "be notified" and "be informed"

Tallinec

Starting to get Involved
#1
Clause 4.2.2 requires "When the laboratory is required by law or authorized by contractual arrangements to release confidential information, the customer or individual concerned shall, unless prohibited by law, be notified of the information provided".

Please give me a help to understand the difference between "be notified" and "be informed"? Does official informing the customer or individual concerned about releasing confidential information covers requirement of "be notified"?
 
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dwperron

Trusted Information Resource
#2
So I brushed up on my legalese and came up with this explanation:

When used as verbs, inform means to instruct, train (usually in matters of knowledge), whereas notify means to give (someone) notice of (something).

So let's look at how the words are used here.

4.2.1 says that "The laboratory shall inform the customer in advance, of the information it intends to place in the public
domain." This would indicate that you are instructing the customer on what information shall be considered public domain and not confidential.

4.2.2 says "When the laboratory is required by law or authorized by contractual arrangements to release
confidential information, the customer or individual concerned shall, unless prohibited by law, be
notified of the information provided"

You originally defined what is confidential when you informed (trained) the customer of your terms. You are to notify (give notice to) the customer when you are required to release what has been previously accepted as confidential information.
 

Tallinec

Starting to get Involved
#3
So I brushed up on my legalese and came up with this explanation:

When used as verbs, inform means to instruct, train (usually in matters of knowledge), whereas notify means to give (someone) notice of (something).

So let's look at how the words are used here.

4.2.1 says that "The laboratory shall inform the customer in advance, of the information it intends to place in the public
domain." This would indicate that you are instructing the customer on what information shall be considered public domain and not confidential.

4.2.2 says "When the laboratory is required by law or authorized by contractual arrangements to release
confidential information, the customer or individual concerned shall, unless prohibited by law, be
notified of the information provided"

You originally defined what is confidential when you informed (trained) the customer of your terms. You are to notify (give notice to) the customer when you are required to release what has been previously accepted as confidential information.
But what means "be notified" if we do not consider clause 4.1.1. (because there is no need for us to place information in the public domain)?
 

dwperron

Trusted Information Resource
#4
But what means "be notified" if we do not consider clause 4.1.1. (because there is no need for us to place information in the public domain)?
17025 is written for both the calibration and test worlds. This is more applicable to testing labs, but could possibly involve calibration labs.

Imagine a medical test lab. As a customer, you would want one that maintains strict confidentiality of test results. So you would inform your customer of this policy, and the lab would agree that all test results are to be kept confidential.
Now consider that a police investigation gets a court order for the lab to release test results. Legally you must produce those results. Under 17025 you would be required to notify your customer that you have released the information.

This could possibly happen in the calibration world. Consider an airplane crash, and the investigation leads to questions of the accuracy of the equipment used to check the plane's avionics. A court order could compel you to release that calibration information, then you must notify your customer of the release.
 

Tallinec

Starting to get Involved
#5
17025 is written for both the calibration and test worlds. This is more applicable to testing labs, but could possibly involve calibration labs.

Imagine a medical test lab. As a customer, you would want one that maintains strict confidentiality of test results. So you would inform your customer of this policy, and the lab would agree that all test results are to be kept confidential.
Now consider that a police investigation gets a court order for the lab to release test results. Legally you must produce those results. Under 17025 you would be required to notify your customer that you have released the information.

This could possibly happen in the calibration world. Consider an airplane crash, and the investigation leads to questions of the accuracy of the equipment used to check the plane's avionics. A court order could compel you to release that calibration information, then you must notify your customer of the release.
As I understand your reply, «be notified» comes after „be informed“ or «be notified can not live without be informed».

I am in „lab business“ (non-medical and private) many years and nobody informed our lab about intention to place information about us in the public domain. And our lab have no practice and need to place information about customer (for example names of customer’s technicians) in the public domain.

May be the key difference between «be notified» and „be informed“ one shall find in juridical field. May be «be notified» shall be mandatory documented and approved by responsible person. May be “be notified” have juridical meaning in clause 4.2.2 of the standard „Be informed“ have more light-weighted, non mandatory meaning.

It is interesting to know you opinion.
 
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