In today's society email "is one of the fastest growing electronic communications" and its privacy can be invaded, because it is not very secure. This is mostly because email has to pass through a number of systems before it reaches its destination.
The reason why emails are used more than any other form of communication is because email is more permanent than a note, or a paper document. Some of the email advantages are that once a person receives an email they can read or check it at their convenience; they can save it, forward it to anyone, or reply back to the message.
Another way they are permanent is that all emails are stored into a server and then stored to a magnetic tape in case a system needs a back up or to be restored. These back up tapes can be saved for many years and can "provide access to an email message into its original form.
The purpose of using back up on computer systems has been used for many legal issues involving email".
Email messages have become very common within small and big companies. Statistics shows that the estimate number of email usage have been doubled within every two years. Many people think that email is "informal, confidential and not permanent". However, they are incorrect because an email can "be obtained, examined, and saved by parties unknown to the sender and forwarded to the world via the Internet". Emails also have a greater chance in becoming permanent because they can be saved into a disk or tape by both the sender the recipient.
This chapter writes about how emails can be used as evidence in many situations such as: claims of sexual harassment, claims of discrimination, employee productivity, information leaks, business practices, employee personal litigation.