CMS Watch: Legal ruling shakes up E-mail Archiving and Management Sector

CMS Watch reports on a legal ruling that may impact solutions that offer email archiving-as-a-service … Makes me wonder if this also is true for RIM’s BlackBerry Service ?

… The whole issue of (E-mail Archiving and Management) EAM has come under the spotlight recently – triggered by a ruling by the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco – a ruling that touches on the Fourth Amendment "Protection from unreasonable search and seizure." In this particular case, plaintiffs argued that when employers read the content of text messages sent by their employees, text messages that were held by a hosted vendor (Arch Wireless), that the employees’ fourth amendment privileges were breached. In other words that even though the employees were using company-paid messaging systems, that the employer should still respect their privacy and the confidential nature of personal message exchanges.

It’s a ruling that could have a huge impact on the EAM market and in particular on vendors like Fortiva, Dell MessageOne and Google Postini, that all offer hosted SaaS EAM solutions. Why SaaS options in particular? Well the ruling states that employers (when using "outside" third-party text or e-mail services) cannot get access to employees’ content without their permission first. The ruling is a bit hazy — and may or may not apply if the mail and text servers are located on-premise. But regardless of whether this just applies to SaaS or both on and off premise solutions, just think the implications through for a moment — the impact is potentially huge. …

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