find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
ACLA 2010: Spam "tsunami" exposes legal departments

ACLA 2010: Spam "tsunami" exposes legal departments

In-house lawyers have been urged to exercise caution regarding their policies, training and procedures for dealing with social networking and avoiding breaches of the Spam Act and the Do Not…

In-house lawyers have been urged to exercise caution regarding their policies, training and procedures for dealing with social networking and avoiding breaches of the Spam Act and the Do Not Call Register Act.

Addressing a technology think tank at the ACLA National Conference in Sydney on Thursday (11 November), Middletons partner Mark Feetham and special counsel Jim Lennon warned delegates about the "tsunami of spam" that continues to hit organisations - at a rate of 183 billion emails per day - and the risks to marketing departments in particular of breaching the Spam Act and attracting the attention of the regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

"As lawyers we're aware of the technical issues," said Lennon. "But your marketing department sees it [sending out mass emails] as an opportunity."

Such opportunity exists in part due to a combination of economics and technology. For the cost of a 50 cent stamp, marketing departments can obtain the required lists and bandwidth to send out approximately 62,000 emails, according to Middletons.

Lennon warned that it's the legal department's responsibility to ensure that their marketing departments understand the necessity of consent, accurate sender information and a functional unsubscribe button when sending out emails.

He added that should a breach of the Spam Act occur, ACMA will look to the legal team to see what steps have been taken to avoid such a breach. Therefore, it's essential that in-house lawyers retain documentation about any training and advice offered to their business units.

Lennon also commented that ACMA takes a particularly robust view when it comes to enforcement of the Spam Act, with fines of up to $220,000 potentially imposed on organisations for a single contravention.

The Middletons lawyers also warned delegates about enforcement under the Do Not Call Register Act and advised that organisations - as well as any contracts with outsourced telemarketers - provide for a provision that contact lists are "washed" every 30 days - meaning they are filtered through the Do Not Call Register available online.

With 9.5 million Australians now using Facebook, according to Middletons, Feetham also outlined the risks associated with employees using social networking and the need for controls and policies to be initiated by legal departments.

Such risks include the misuse of company trademarks and IP, the disclosure of confidential information, harassment, defamation of staff and misleading or deceptive conduct.

"If people are sitting on Facebook and they're slagging your company, there's not a lot you can do unless you have some controls in place," he said.

>> Click here to read Lawyers Weekly's full coverage of the ACLA National Conference 2010

Read the latest in-house news, views and opinions

on our specialist in-house website

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

ACLA 2010: Spam "tsunami" exposes legal departments
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...