Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Thirty-Two Instant Messaging Rules

I found this really interesting article that highlighted a number of legal issues with regard to the use of IM that I was not aware of. I know many customers are not taking these legal risks into consideration.

Consider this scenario: You have your whole staff assembled for a planning meeting. People have their laptops and Blackberries to take notes and respond to urgent e-mails. Two employees in the back of the room are sending each other instant messages to keep from nodding off. One sends an off-hand comment to the other about the department's young new intern. Although no one else in the room is aware of this private conversation, it could present significant problems to the company some day. The mere fact that this electronic conversation took place using company resources - the computers and communication network - makes this an official company record. What's more, if the day ever came when the intern sues the company over sexual harassment issues, the company could be required to produce a record of that flippant remark that was never intended to go beyond the two guys in the back of the room. Those couple of words, sent "instantly" from one person to another, could be a smoking gun.

Thirty-Two Instant Messaging Rules: Best Practices to Keep You in Business and Out of Court http://www.epolicyinstitute.com/imr/32rules.pdf
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