Let's say that I sign a NDA with a company to work with them.

While working, I think about using a search engine to search more information about some tools they use (to learn more about them for example, or to see if any information has leaked online).

Since search engines are sometimes known for collecting data people type in them, could the simple fact of entering certain words or sentences in a search engine create a NDA breach?

This scenario would happen in the USA.

2 Answers 2


IANAL, but probably not - you are not sharing sensitive information with a third party, rather you are gathering it yourself.

To some extent it would depend on the search term, and how you got to it, and possibly the wording of your NDA.

NDA's typically prevent you from disclosing sensitive information, or information not already in the public domain - I would argue the information you are searching for is already in the public domain (if it returns a result), or meaningless to a search engine, and thus not a breach if you don't.


If you enter search terms that are covered by the NDA into a public search engine then you could be violating the NDA because, as you note, you are disclosing protected information to a third party, which is exactly what an NDA is undertaken to prevent.

Therefore, if in doubt you should get written permission from the counterparty to do this.

(And, as always, if in doubt you should have a licensed attorney review such contracts on your behalf to ensure they reflect your interests and understanding.)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .