Dave Pinwell

Dave Pinwell

Dave Pinwell is a prolific blogger and IT enthusiast and has kindly allowed us to reproduce his popular weekly IT Talk column first published in the Solihull News. Dave is also CEO of Colebridge Trust and SUSTAiN which play a key role in providing strategic support to Solihull’s Voluntary & Community sector. Dave has extensive experience in the IT sector, with roles including IT Director with Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe Ltd.
news 14th July 2014 1963

Signs Of The Times: Bombarded With Email Disclaimers

What is it with these interminable corporate email signatures?

It just irritates me when a simple one-line mail saying something banal like ‘Wotcher, mate, fancy a curry on Friday?’ is accompanied by a whole nine yards of ‘Twitter, Facebook, don’t print, save the planet, Disclaimer, confidentiality, Data Protection Act, blah, blah, yadda, yadda….’

Even worse, a further exchange of ‘Great, what time?’ and 'How about 8.30?’ inevitably results in a complete dupstock-footage-a-person-typing-on-a-laptoplication of that signature.

Why are these things there? Are they necessary? Who reads them? Don’t they realise that by the time you get to the ‘if you are not the intended recipient, don’t read this’ bit, you have already done so!

Emails are the only form of communication subject to this nonsense.

Companies have been writing letters for centuries without finding it necessary to include disclaimers in the case the Post Office delivers them to the wrong place and they get opened.

Texts from company mobiles are just as easy to retain, forward and misdirect as emails, but never include them.

And when it comes to corporate tweets, the word ‘Disclaimer’ alone would use 10 of your 140 characters!

I take heart from finding a clear statement from an article in The Economist from a couple of year back.

This concluded: ‘Email signatures are legally useless’

It went on to explain that email disclaimers seek to impose a contractual obligation unilaterally and are unenforceable because a directive from the European Commission tells the courts to ‘strike out any unreasonable contractual obligation on a consumer, if he has not freely negotiated it.’

At last, some common sense from the Brussels bureaucrats!

 

Dave Pinwell

Dave Pinwell is a prolific blogger and IT enthusiast and has kindly allowed us to reproduce his popular weekly IT Talk column first published in the Solihull News. Dave is also CEO of Colebridge Trust and SUSTAiN which play a key role in providing strategic support to Solihull’s Voluntary & Community sector. Dave has extensive experience in the IT sector, with roles including IT Director with Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe Ltd.

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