Topic of the monthgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Gedachtenspinsels : One Thread
Should you worry about someone reading your private email? Although there may not be much motivation for hiding your thank-you note to your sister-in-law, email certainly has its dangers. Those dangers are especially obvious in the workplace, according to Employment Law Learning Technologies. The company, which advises businesses regarding the legal liabilities in daily business conduct, released a list of top email no-no's this week, "The Seven Most Common Misconceptions About E-mail." The company cites actions against employees at Dow Chemical and The New York Times as examples of the risks employees take when they use the Internet for Web browsing and email. The list of misconceptions is based on cases handled by ELT's parent company, employment and labor law firm Littler Mendelson. Emails can be deleted. Reality: By using utilities or by checking recipients' workstations, they can almost always be recovered. Emails get "lost" among the millions being sent around the Internet. Reality: Sophisticated search tools, as the FBI's Carnivore program illustrates, let their users find almost any email from anyone. Emails go to the people you address them to. Reality: Emails are often distributed broadly to people you often don't know because of forwarding. Comments made in email aren't that powerful. Reality: Even if unintended by the sender, certain comments or idle remarks can be perceived as threats or harassment. For example, referring to a coworker as a "dinosaur" can become the basis for an age discrimination lawsuit. You can send emails from work in a personal capacity. Reality: When sent over company systems, the law recognizes emails as official company communications regardless of the content. Potential exposure is created each time an employee uses corporate email to send personal messages to friends. Private email messages are private. Reality: Emails can be accessed as part of an investigation and cause liability for employers. Your identity is protected through email communications. Reality: It is extremely easy to duplicate someone's identity for the purpose of sending fraudulent email messages.
-- Ben Koot (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 26, 2000