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International email disclaimer law

Finishing off our series on email disclaimer laws, we wanted to highlight one important law that applies to every country in the world.

Basel III Accord

Basel III is an international banking accord that replaces the second Basel agreement of 2006. The Accord seeks to improve the banking sector’s ability to deal with financial and economic stress, improve risk management and strengthen banks’ transparency. A focus of Basel III is to foster greater resilience at the individual bank level in order to reduce the risk of system wide shocks.

The need for an Archiver

Given that the emphasis of Basel III is on risk management and in light of the fact that the global economy has recently been through the worst recession since the 1930s, it is a fundamental requirement of financial institutions to retain all emails that relate to trade for no less than five years. With stricter regulations in place, it is imperative that data and electronic communications are secure, accurate and accessible via an easy-to-use email archiving solution.

Further information

So, we’ve told you about all of the major email disclaimer laws around the world and you understand how important disclaimers are. Now, you just need to make sure that you actually implement them in users’ email signatures.

What are my options?

Let users create their signatures

Many email clients allow users to create pre-defined content for their email signature, which will also include a disclaimer. Once the users have created their signatures, no further action is carried out and they often are no longer monitored.

Users do eventually end up modifying or deleting their email signatures, whether deliberately or by accident. Even if you find a way to overcome this problem, they can still delete text straight out of their email message. This means they can change the disclaimer to the point where it no longer serves its purpose.

Use another system to route emails

Other companies take responsibility for adding email disclaimers away from all users and set one up on a separate system. Some examples would be a firewall, an anti-virus or anti-spam system which include features to add text to some or all emails that pass through them. If all messages go through one of these systems, then it gives you straight email compliance.

Some common issues do occur though:

  • Many of these systems only allow plain text to be entered, giving you no control over layout and you can’t have images or logos.
  • There is unlikely to be any control over where the email disclaimer goes other than the top and bottom of an email.
  • There is no way to prevent the system from adding the disclaimer again and again. After several replies in an email exchange, disclaimer text can very quickly build up so that it ends up turning into an email disclaimer exchange, dwarfing the actual message.

Add disclaimers via a server

With Microsoft Exchange 2007 and above, all disclaimers are added on the server with the Hub Transport role. This gives you greater flexibility as these servers handle all of your emails, internal and external.

However, the disclaimer features that come with Exchange are very basic and often do not meet the needs of many organizations. It won’t let you have HTML signatures, create different signature templates for various sender and recipient groups or let you add images like logos as it will turn them into attachments.

Dedicated software that will add email disclaimers

Signature Manager Exchange Edition allows you to easily define the disclaimers that are added to every email. Disclaimers get added at the server automatically and users have no way of changing them. With central management, you can ensure that all users’ corporate emails consistently have a professional email signature with the necessary compliant legal disclaimer.

However, we will soon be launching our cloud-based email signature service, Exclaimer Cloud – Signatures for Office 365, which will mean that you will be able to this all via an intuitive UI and within the Microsoft Cloud.