Privacy when conversing with Bloggers

I’ve been having some interesting email conversations with tech industry execs (some of whom are also fellow Bloggers), and have noticed an interesting trend… more and more of them are including privacy notes in their emails to ensure that the content of those emails doesn’t make it out to the blogosphere.

The first exec uses a fairly standard template:

“This email and any attachments thereto may contain private, confidential, and privileged material for the sole use of the intended recipient. Any review, copying, or distribution of this email (or any attachments thereto) by others is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender immediately and permanently delete the original and any copies of this email and any attachments thereto.”

The second is more blog specific:

“This email is: [ ] bloggable [ ] ask first [ x ] private”

Having had some private thoughts (along with my friggin email address) posted to the blog of a very close friend in the past, I can understand the concern here. In fact, I find myself reassuring people I talk with in person (who are concerned about privacy and don’t have an NDA handy) that I won’t blog about what we’re talking about that day, if that’s there wish…

Of course, a verbal promise made 1v1 (with no witnesses and no paper documentation) is of dubious legal value; rather, it is my personal/professional integrity that matters (an interesting ‘throwback’ to the days when a handshake actually meant something between new/casual acquaintances).

My questions for you are…

– Are you too seeing this trend, and if so, how are you handling it?

– Is a verbal promise not to disclose sufficient for you?

– Should we start dragging a tablet PC and digital NDA to our meetings with friends (I’m sure Scoble would love that )?

– If we’re busy making changes to our email infrastructure (e.g., Yahoo’s announcement about DomainKeys today) , should we codify the ‘disclosability’ of its contents as well (making it all the easier to search against)?

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