Are emails really confidential? - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Are emails really confidential?

Everyone knows how you get emails with those confidentiality statements at the bottom from peoples business right? Well do they really mean anything? I have no idea why this question came to mind, but here’s one from our office.

“This message contains confidential information. It is intended solely for the individual or entity to whom it is addressed. If you have received this message in error (i) Please advise the sender by reply email (ii) immediately thereafter, delete the message from your system, and (iii) be advised that you are not permitted to use, copy or otherwise disclose this message to anyone. Thank you."

So let’s say the CEO of some company sends me some insider information accidentally. Do I really have to stick to what it says there? And if you read the beginning it says “intended to whom it is addressed”. Well if I get it accidentally, then it’s addressed to me for starters. Second, I didn’t agree to or sign any contract promising that I wouldn’t disclose the message so why would your confidentiality make it mine? Now I’m just tempted to go and forward this email I got to everyone in the world! Just wondering if those extra lines are totally meaningless or not.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 03:57 PM
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its a CYA statement more than anything
IF you use the info you then KNOW you are doing it illegally

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 03:59 PM
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It means the company that included that in their email can say they "included it" should anyting ever come of it - holds very little water if any at all

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ok so what if I get an email somehow that tells me that there's going to be a secret sale at some store at exactly midnight and only the first 10 people are allowed in. This email was supposed to be sent to some guy '[email protected]' but is sent to me '[email protected]'. I then get 9 of my imaginary friends together and we get to the store before the other guy...we get in and he don't. Did I just use that info illegally? Seems to me it's like overhearing a conversation on the street more than anything in terms of legality.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2weelpilot
its a CYA statement more than anything
IF you use the info you then KNOW you are doing it illegally
And it makes the corporate lawyers happy.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGGY
Ok so what if I get an email somehow that tells me that there's going to be a secret sale at some store at exactly midnight and only the first 10 people are allowed in. This email was supposed to be sent to some guy '[email protected]' but is sent to me '[email protected]'. I then get 9 of my imaginary friends together and we get to the store before the other guy...we get in and he don't. Did I just use that info illegally? Seems to me it's like overhearing a conversation on the street more than anything in terms of legality.

No, in that specific case and in the specific way you are speaking of, it would not be illegal.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 04:12 PM
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here is my thing. You have to agree to a contract. Hell even when you install software it makes you click that you agree to the ULA. The legal notice at the bottom of an email holds no water because you never agreed to it. Now if the notice came up first, and then after you agreed the rest of the email came up, that would be something.

(sometimes there is no notice but a sticker. By breaking the sticker you agree)
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leavundst
here is my thing. You have to agree to a contract. Hell even when you install software it makes you click that you agree to the ULA. The legal notice at the bottom of an email holds no water because you never agreed to it. Now if the notice came up first, and then after you agreed the rest of the email came up, that would be something.

(sometimes there is no notice but a sticker. By breaking the sticker you agree)
That's basically what it amounts to.

Additionally, in the case they outlined above, there's nothing confidential about a sale open to the public if they let whomever are the first 10 in line inside.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch
That's basically what it amounts to.

Additionally, in the case they outlined above, there's nothing confidential about a sale open to the public if they let whomever are the first 10 in line inside.
Ok, let's say that the email tells me that some company is going down the drain. Not the illegal kind of insider information, but basically let's say it's an earnings report which is due to be released the following day. I quickly take and release this info to the press and everyone else...that might get more tricky. I'm trying to give an example without the example itself being illegal in the first place.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGGY
Ok, let's say that the email tells me that some company is going down the drain. Not the illegal kind of insider information, but basically let's say it's an earnings report which is due to be released the following day. I quickly take and release this info to the press and everyone else...that might get more tricky. I'm trying to give an example without the example itself being illegal in the first place.
You would be more in trouble with the SEC in that case

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 04:26 PM
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Our disclaimer also includes text that the company as an entity is not responsible nor necessarily agrees with the views or content of the email. If an employee uses his mail account to harass someone or do something illegally, we will not be liable.

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 04:27 PM
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Basically what it really covers is your disseminating the information in the email (about the company, it's products/services, its financials or it's plans for future direction, etc) that is not obtainable via any other source.

But, as stated above... you did not 'agree' to the contract. However, if a civil lawsuit would to be slapped upon you for any misuse of said info, ask yourself this question:

Who has deeper pockets to ride it out through the court system? You or the company?

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch
...
Who has deeper pockets to ride it out through the court system? You or the company?
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 04:43 PM
pfft.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch
But, as stated above... you did not 'agree' to the contract.
But aren't you agreeing to it just by reading it? I think they are worded that way (or the companies think they are worded that way!) You don't have to SAY you agree or SIGN and agreement to agree. There are other legal forms of agreement.
I don't think we have any lawyers on the board.....just a lot of people who've seen the judge for wheelies.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ill_ag
But aren't you agreeing to it just by reading it? I think they are worded that way (or the companies think they are worded that way!) You don't have to SAY you agree or SIGN and agreement to agree. There are other legal forms of agreement.
I don't think we have any lawyers on the board.....just a lot of people who've seen the judge for wheelies.
Who is to say you read the statement at the bottom and didn't say "Oh hell no, I don't agree to that"

"By taking a breath in the next 5 minutes, you agree to pay us $1 million dollars"

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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch
Who is to say you read the statement at the bottom and didn't say "Oh hell no, I don't agree to that"

"By taking a breath in the next 5 minutes, you agree to pay us $1 million dollars"
I dont know about the emails, but scripts that pop up before loginj on the network are legally binding as long as they contain "By logging into this private network, you agree..........................." At least according to the corporate lawyers.

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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kegger
I dont know about the emails, but scripts that pop up before loginj on the network are legally binding as long as they contain "By logging into this private network, you agree..........................." At least according to the corporate lawyers.
It requires you to do further PURPOSEFUL action *AFTER* you are given notice. Additionally, you are also bound by your employee handbook and Acceptable Use Policies that are part of your employment.

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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 05:05 PM
pfft.
 
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I imagine that the courts would wrestle with this question as much as we are. Most of the law is interpretation, anyway.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-10-2006, 05:44 AM
 
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Hahahahahahahaha...sorry The subject makes me giggle...NOTHING online anymore is confidential.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-10-2006, 06:12 AM
 
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emails are not secure, and can be read.
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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-10-2006, 07:46 AM
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It doesn't matter what the disclaimers are. When it's made public, legally or not, the disclaimers haven't made any difference.

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post #22 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-10-2006, 08:38 AM
Seriously?
 
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Nope I don't think so.... anyone can get anything on the internet. If they are smart enough, or wise enough. E-mails could be a breeze for people to get.

If you got an e-mail accidently, why would you want to screw over someone or company anyways?? Just delete it, and go on with your day.
Now if there was a sale at some store.... well then yea keep that one!
But seriously, if someone doesn't have the right e-mail and sends you somthing confindential or whatever.... you should keep it that way.

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