Information Sharing Agreements (ISA): What You Need to Know

In today`s digital age, information sharing is an essential part of doing business. Companies exchange data with partners and third-party service providers to improve their products, expand their reach, and streamline their operations. However, with the increasing concerns around privacy and data security, it`s important to approach information sharing with caution and diligence. That`s where Information Sharing Agreements (ISAs) come in.

What is an ISA?

An ISA is a legal contract that outlines the terms and conditions of sharing confidential information between two or more parties. It sets out the purpose of the information exchange, the types of data that will be shared, who will have access to it, and how it will be used, stored, and protected. ISAs can cover a wide range of business activities, such as joint ventures, outsourcing arrangements, research collaborations, and data analytics partnerships.

Why are ISAs important?

ISAs are important because they help to establish trust and accountability between the parties involved in the information exchange. By setting clear expectations and boundaries, ISAs can prevent misunderstandings, disputes, and breaches of confidentiality. They also ensure that all parties comply with legal and regulatory requirements for data protection and privacy, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the United States.

What should an ISA include?

An effective ISA should be tailored to the specific needs and risks of the information exchange. However, there are some key elements that should be included in most ISAs:

– Identification of the parties: This should include the legal names, addresses, and contact information of all parties involved, as well as any affiliates or subcontractors who may be involved in the information exchange.

– Purpose and scope of the agreement: This should clearly state the goals and objectives of the information exchange, as well as the specific types of information that will be shared. It should also define the duration of the agreement and any conditions for termination or renewal.

– Confidentiality and security measures: This should specify how the confidential information will be protected from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. It should also describe the security measures that will be used to safeguard the information, such as encryption, access controls, or firewalls.

– Data protection and privacy: This should outline the legal and regulatory requirements for data protection and privacy that apply to the information exchange, as well as the responsibilities of each party to comply with these requirements. It should also include provisions for data subject rights, such as the right to access, rectify, or delete personal data.

– Liability and indemnification: This should allocate the risks and liabilities associated with the information exchange among the parties. It should also describe the procedures for resolving disputes and the remedies available in case of breach, such as damages, injunctive relief, or termination of the agreement.

– Governing law and jurisdiction: This should specify the laws and courts that will govern the ISA, as well as the language and currency in which it will be written.


ISAs are a crucial tool for managing the risks and opportunities of information sharing in today`s complex business environment. As a professional, it`s important to ensure that your clients` ISAs are clear, concise, and compliant with legal and regulatory requirements. By working closely with your clients and their legal advisors, you can help to create ISAs that protect their interests and enhance their business relationships.