When I asked a few weeks ago is your intranet breaking the law Janus Boye wanted me to cover other legal responsibilities we have. After a quick panic attack I recovered what poise I have and realised there are other areas where intranet managers, publishers and designers need to make sure their intranet is legal.
So here are key points you need to consider. I suggest you go to the Outlaw site for more details on legal information.
1. Information retention
We need to make sure we only retain the information needed by law and for the sound running of our organisation. But you need to consider whether you retain old copies of content. I know of someone who needed to show a copy of a web page as it was at the time of the incident to prove what guidance was actually being given to people.
2. Legal and regulatory frameworks
Like BT’s undertakings with Ofcom, you may need to meet regulatory requirements. This means there is often a need for some ‘knowledge firewalls’ to safeguard insider information in all sorts of industries such as the pharmaceutical, legal and banking industries. Incidentally the term ‘chinese wall’ is to be avoided according to Wikipedia.
This isn’t just personal. It could be commercial confidentiality too. If someone creates a page about issues with a piece of software how would they be affected?
4. Freedom of information (FoI)
This can be a big concern with intranet content. Anything published on your intranet may be subject to a FoI challenge. It could makes you less likely to share some details. This is probably likely to affect public service intranets most.
5. Data protection
Data Protection, particularly Personal Data and European Union rules for its use and storage, may affect your intranet systems, particularly HR systems.
Copying any content, especially an image, photo or multi-media file, from another website to insert on an intranet site is an infringement of copyright, unless you have permission from the copyright owner. To avoid any copyright problems restrict your uploading to content which you have created; colleagues, friends or relatives have created and given you permission to use; is provided by an official agency.