Monday, 30 October 2017

Can Email Reading be Strictly Prohibited

Today I received an email from IRDA. The mail was meant for the addressee (me) only and had a footnote added to it as under :

"This mail may contain confidential or proprietary information intended only for the use of the addressee(s) named above or may contain information that is legally privileged. If you are not the intended addressee, or the person responsible for delivering it to the intended addressee, you are hereby notified that reading, disseminating, distributing or copying this mail is strictly prohibited. If you have received this mail by mistake, please immediately notify us by replying to the mail and delete the original mail and any copies immediately thereafter".

The footnote compelled me to think if the receiver of the mail can be notified that reading this mail is strictly prohibited. Had this mail landed in the inbox of some other unintended user then the user will be able to take the appropriate action as per footnote only after reading the email content and footnote thereafter. It means that the unintended receiver has, by reading the mail content, violated the law and needs to be punished. I wonder as to how it would be proved that the unintended receiver actually read the mail content and if at all the content was privileged or confidential then the law should punish the email sender for passing on the privileged and confidential information related of the actual addressee to the unintended addressee. I am still confused about the legal sanctity of the footnote! Strange are the rules, regulations, and laws related to and promulgated by the IT people. Actual laws will have to be rewritten to prove that the email was not read by the unintended receiver. Readers are welcome to add their views as comments.
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