Knowledge is power. Individuals who serve as gatekeepers of knowledge are in a position of power, and that power can be abused by unfairly exercising control over who knows what. The third aspirational Fairness standard in the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (http://www.pmi.org/About-Us/Ethics/Code-of-Ethics.aspx) is “4.2.3 We provide equal access to information to those who are authorized to have that information.”
We must first know who is authorized to have the information. I remember being told once by a colleague that if I needed certain information, just wait until the student office worker was there, because she would tell you anything when the other people in the office knew we weren’t entitled to the information. Apparently no one had told this young lady who was authorized to have access to certain types of files. Once we know who is authorized, we must allow them the same access. So if we have a useful piece of information, it isn’t right to quickly let our friends know and only tell the other authorized people if they directly ask. The emphasis here is on treating people fairly regarding information.