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Why do companies still put this dumb thing in their emails?

This e-mail message is authorized for use by the intended recipient only and may contain information that is privileged and confidential. If you received this message in error, please call us immediately at (###) ###-#### and ask to speak to the message sender. Please do not copy, disseminate, or retain this message unless you are the intended recipient. In addition …

Please stop. It’s silly. And useless.

Sending someone some legal rules doesn’t make it real any more than telling someone they’re Norwegian makes them Norwegian.

Making your staff send this stuff just makes everyone in your company look mean (or spammy).

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  1. jma April 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    It’s called CYA for companies that disseminate potentially confidential information. That’s why.

  2. Shawn April 15, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    That is like the discrimination policy disclaimer we have to have at the bottom of all of my emails we send at school. I am a teacher, and we have a tag disclosure that is like this. I know it is just to cover ourselves for laws and regulations, but it really does just seem silly.

  3. Inga Ingeborg April 16, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    But what if I’m Norwegian? I guess that means I need to put this at the bottom of my e-mails:

    This message was meant for Sven, Ole and Lena. Before you read it, have some coffee. After you read it, have some more coffee. Don’t forward to Lars, because you’ll just have to explain it to him and you know what Lars is like. If you received this message in error, sorry ‘bout that. Call us at (###) ### #### and we’ll give you Grandma Ingeborg’s famous lefse recipe. See you at the lutefisk dinner this Sunday in the church basement. Come early, before all of Grandma Ingeborg’s lefse is gone.

  4. Greg Marshall April 17, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    I’ve always found that baffling as it holds no legal water and doesn’t cover anything except the bottom of the email.
    I work with colleges and a good many of them have boiler plate language on their emails.

    The text translates roughly into “If we make a mistake, please close your eyes, delete the email and call us to let us know we made a mistake…and pretty please don’t anyone sue us”

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