Electronic Discovery: Beware of Employees Using Personal Email Accounts for Company Business

In JD Supra Business advisor, David Schumacher and Samantha Southall of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, provide a cautionary tale about employee use of personal email utilizing the recent allegations regarding Hillary Clinton’s use of her personal email account to conduct business while Secretary of State. One of the risks highlighted by the authors is that employees’ personal email and their attachments may not be secure, putting sensitive company information at risk through interception or hacking. The authors note that private employers must exercise caution if they choose to “crack down” on employees using personal email as they may run afoul of HIPAA or other privacy laws. The final concern raised in the article is the problems surrounding the potential need to preserve employee’s personal email for litigation, an employer’s lack of control over the account and the possibility of evidence spoliation claims if the information is not retained.

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