Project References Need Approval From Customers?

Recently had an issue where an integrator posted a detailed narrative and pictures on his website about a major surveillance project he was proud to have completed. Problem is, the client for whom he did the project has a strict confidentiality agreement for all of its vendors, which states that a vendor cannot even mention that they do work for the client, let alone provide the level of detail that this guy did.

When confronted, the integrator stated that "he did the work" and he "has a right" to use the project as a reference. I'm sure that the client's legal department is following up on this, and I'm not sure what the outcome will be, but it does raise an interesting question: what, if any, rights does an integrator (or manufacturer or consultant) have regarding projects that they complete?

Do you always get permission before using a project as a reference?

(As a side note, I find it a little ironic that some of the same clients who refuse to allow their projects to be used as references always themselves ask for at least three references when they are evaluating a service provider.....)

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