IM Is Turbocharged E-Mail All the Risks, Rules, and Regulations Apply1
Long popular with teens and college students, 84 percent of whom use IM on a daily basis,2 IM now is gaining a solid foothold in the workplace. More than a third (35 percent) of workers reported using IM at work in 2006, according to American Management Association and ePolicy Insti- tute research .3 We can safely assume that number will continue to grow as more organizations adopt IM for internal and external communica- tion.
As IM sweeps through the workplace, employers, lawyers, compliance officers, and IT professionals wrestle to define and manage it in light of myriad business, legal, and regulatory concerns.
Think of IM as a combination of the telephone, which facilitates conversations with multiple people in real time, and e-mail, which com- bines the speed of online communication with a written record of your conversation.
The hybrid nature of IM has created confusion among organiza- tions that can2019t decide whether to interpret IM traffic as e-mail or phone chat. Some (incorrectly) think of IM chat as an extension of a casual telephone call2014a conversation that ends when all parties hang up. Oth- ers (correctly) define IM more formally as a type of e-mail2014electronic communication that produces a written record that may be discoverable in the course of a regulatory audit or lawsuit.
When the NASD in 2003 joined the SEC and NYSE in announcing