Email: Law, Practice and Compliance

Stewart Room

Publisher The Law Society
ISBN 978-1-85328-594-3
RRP £69.95
Reviewed by John Antell CEng MBCS CITP
Score 7 out of 10

Email: Law, Practice and Compliance Some questions of law are specific to IT, such as whether a computer program is 'goods' within the meaning of the Sale of Goods Act 1979, but inevitably only a small part of any book covering IT law will be concerned with such narrowly IT-specific questions. Many more pages will be concerned with covering areas of law which, whilst not being specific to IT, nevertheless raise particular practical issues where IT is concerned.

Against this background it would be a difficult task to write an entire book on 'email law' and the alternative is suggested by the author in the preface of 'a book about core laws and practice rules that impact upon the use of email' would be a more descriptive (if  less eye-catching) title. 

Whilst the book therefore covers much more than email, it does contain in each of the various chapters a number of pages which are specific to email, which, given the difficult nature of the subject, is probably sufficient to make good the promise implied in the short title.

For example in the chapter on privacy and data protection there is discussion of the particular challenges presented by the data protection principles of the Data Protection Act 1998 in relation to email: whether, for example, given the wide use of email, the data controller can be sure that data subjects are always provided with a full and proper account of the purposes for which the data are intended to be processed. And in the chapter on communications privacy there is coverage of the rules relating to spam. There are further chapters on defamation and disclosure in criminal and civil proceedings where email-specific issues are highlighted.

There is also a useful, if brief, chapter on the technology underlying email.

At £69.95 this book provides a useful canter through the main laws which impact on IT in general and email in particular and will be of interest both to the IT professional and to the non-specialist lawyer (or lawyer whose specialism is not IT).         

Further information: The Law Society

April 2009