Another dot in the blogosphere?

Lazy notice

Posted on: February 18, 2019

I am not the first to point this out and I doubt I will be the last. The legal disclaimers or warnings that are automatically added to the end of organisational emails are ridiculous and unenforceable.

Here is one example:

This message and any files transmitted with it may be privileged and/or confidential and are intended only for the use of the addressee. If you are not the intended recipient, you shall not disseminate, copy or use this message for any purpose. If you have received this message in error, please notify us immediately by return email and delete the original message. Thank you.

Simply adding it to the end of an email message does not absolve the sender of carelessness, stupidity, or responsibility. It tries to put the onus on the recipient while not being able to ensure their compliance.

So why do it? My guess is that someone started doing it and lemmings followed. If you are not convinced, read some corporate email and count the number of gentle reminders, kind assistance, or revert backs. It is lazy language disease that spread with use.

Just because something is high-sounding or threatening does not make it legally-binding. It is a lazy way to look effective but not actually be effective.

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