Spam Leads To Fears Of Hostile Workspace Lawsuits And Lost Time

from the it-just-gets-worse-and-worse dept

The follow-up to last week's article about the IT costs of spam is this Mitch Wagner column looking at the potential legal hazards of spam as well as the amount of time it ends up wasting for users. While I understand the legal concerns (HR and legal departments are afraid of sexual harassment suits from those offended by the emails if the company doesn't make a concerted effort to stop the porn spams from getting through), I've always wondered how strong an argument that really is. It's tough to see how the company itself is actually liable for a spam attack, and I get the feeling that most people know that there's not much they can do about all the porn spam they get. I'm sure that, eventually, some lawyer with too much free time will drum up just such a lawsuit, but I wonder how far it would actually get. However, the productivity costs of spam seem like a much bigger issue. People talk about the time they spend deleting their spam emails, and it's clear that it's not the "no time at all" solution that spammers would like you to believe. In fact, many people point out that the problem with the "quick delete" method is that people often end up deleting legitimate messages that look like spam - and missing certain messages can be very costly.

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