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Worry About Internet Law Because . . .

Sending unsolicited emails may subject your company to millions of dollars in fines. Praising a product without clearly indicating you were paid to do so is a Federal Trade Commission offense. Failing to have a Document Retention Policy addressing the new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure may cause you lose a lawsuit even before it gets to a jury. Violating a website’s terms of use policy may even land you in federal prison. These are just a few of the problems you can run into online. So, how can you avoid so many pitfalls?

Cyberlaws breed like rabbits. After a decade of uncontrolled evolution, the expansion of cyberlaws has created a Darwinian pond, so full of complex online laws no company is able track them all. Not knowing the laws makes orchestrating a three-year plan an exercise in futility. Selling your Board of Directors on a costly, time consuming, comprehensive online risk management plan is difficult. Estimating a return on investment based upon the value of not losing the farm is a formidable calculation. A more palatable way to tackle the problem of online risk is piecemeal. Grab the lowest hanging fruit first. Form a committee to tackle the next most cost effective cyberlaw issue each quarter. Before you realize, (hopefully before you are sued) your company will implement a customized, comprehensive system to address online risk. In upcoming posts, I will, through an equally incongruous mix of metaphors, address issues that are easy to address, but if left unchecked have potential to bring your business to a grinding halt.

Brett Trout

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