A confidentiality agreement is often part of a contract when you sign up to be an employee of a business or when you hire an employee to work for you. The contract explains that the items you work on at for your job are to remain confidential. You shouldn't discuss these items with anyone. Confidentiality agreements protect a business by preventing anyone from telling other competitors about pricing, sourcing information, or contracts that the company has.
In your confidentiality agreement, there should be details on how the confidential information is meant to be handled. Who can know about it? How can this information be discussed in the workplace? How long are employees prevented from sharing any information about the company after they leave the company? What happens if someone breaches confidentiality? These are all important questions that you need to answer.
In the contract, there should also be information about who owns the confidential information. For instance, if an employee creates an idea for the company, do the rights to the idea transfer to the company and become the property of the company? If so, then the employee may not be able to discuss that idea with anyone else, even if it's not used by the workplace. Is the confidential information to do with clients, paperwork like patient records or other important items? Details should be discussed on who owns and should maintain this paperwork.
The terms of the agreement should also say how long the information needs to be kept private. Sometimes, it could be for several decades, like in the case of patient records, and in other cases, it may just be a few months.
Source: Iowa State University, Extension and Outreach, Ag Decision Maker, "Overview of Confidentiality Agreements," Joe R. Thompson, accessed June 15, 2015