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5 Possible Legal Implications Of Instant Messaging

 November 28, 2014  /  Comments Off on 5 Possible Legal Implications Of Instant Messaging

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There are various legal issues that could be associated with instant messaging. This platform allows for instant communication between many people and this could cause various problems.

1. Defamation:

It is very easy for people to make defamatory comments via instant messaging platforms. Defamation is legally wrong and often associated with slander and libel. Although distinctions between these two can be rather unclear, we should be able to define what defamation is. Libel is often referred to defamation published through broadcast, images and writing. Slander is mostly identified as defamation using gestures, sign language, sounds and speech.

It is not always easy to define at which category a defamation could be. Libel is often legally actionable, while slander requires victims to prove inflicted damage.

Possible Legal Implications Of Instant Messaging

2. Invasion of privacy:

Invasion of privacy and breach of confidence could happen with Internet messaging. In many laws, instant messaging placed in the same category with email. This way sender could be affected by legal problems if recipients subpoena records of conversation in instant messaging platforms.

Many people wrongly presume that their inappropriate messages will be deleted immediately by recipients. In many cases, service providers maintain a record of instant messages and text messages until up to 3 months after the data is exchanged.

3. Cyberstalking:

Users of instant messaging services can be vulnerable to cyberstalking and harassments. This constitutes a criminal offense in many countries. For this reason, individuals and employers need to appropriately protect themselves from possible legal issues. This could also be associated with stalking, bullying, online hate speech and discrimination. Victims can immediately report others who misuse instant messaging platforms.

Due to its direct, real-time communications, many people don’t give much thought about things that they say in instant messaging. This could be associated as cyber-bullying and sexual harassment by recipients.

4. Security and compliance risks:

Instant messaging is a platform where hackers may perform phishing attacks and release computer virus in attachments. In recent years, security experts have reported thousands of security attacks through typical instant messaging platforms. Spyware, Trojans and viruses may propagate quickly through friends list in instant messaging platforms. This can result in wastage of resources, time and corporate assets.

Employees could also be abused in various social interactions. Such an occurrence may cause various legal matters, especially if client data are stolen through instant messaging. Instant messaging uses plain text and in some cases, passwords and other critical information are very vulnerable.

5. Leak of intellectual property, company intelligence and embarrassing information:

Some confidential information and trade secrets can be accidentally distributed over the Internet through instant messaging. Insecure networks may cause critical information to fall into competitors’ hand. This will be a potentially risky think legally, because clients could accuse their providers of illegally distributing sensitive information.

In general, the advent of social networking websites and Web 2.0 technology has created many dangerous issues. It is important for businesses and individuals to open to possibilities of such occurrences.

About: Author is an employee of reputed seo services company. He’s likes blogging on internet marketing, small business tips and Finance.

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  • Published: 3 years ago on November 28, 2014
  • Last Modified: November 28, 2014 @ 9:03 am
  • Filed Under: Legal

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