Admissibility of Email Evidence in the Court of Law

Are Emails Legally Binding?

It is very unsettling for people to learn that email, that they thought is strong proof of “Who said what to whom” is easy to defeat.

Email can be by all means submitted as evidence in court in the same way as you would any other form of documentary evidence. However, the reliability of e-mail evidence will be subject to scrutiny.

For email communication, burden of proof lies with the party who wishes to employ an email record as evidence of an electronic transaction and therefore such records must be in a court-admissible format.

Printed email is definitely not admissible at court as the other side can simply challenge email’s authenticity. Nowadays you can easily change the email address, time stamp and message text so the other side can easily claim that you altered the email and printed it off.

About 3% of all non-bulk emails never reach their destination. This means that if you CC yourself on an outgoing email that is no guarantee that it reached the destination. You will have burden of proof that your important message was not within those emails. Your own text records such as server logs and texts of read receipts are also no guarantee as the other side can again claim that you have altered them.

Even if the archiving parties can forensically prove the content in their archive is authentic, they will be unable to prove delivery or timing of receipt should the recipient claim non-receipt; or authenticity of the sender should the receiver claim to have received a certain email (note, it is very easy, for example, for any receiver to create a false email from any sender and send it into an archive at a specified point in time).

TitanFile acts as a third party that records in a precise and uniform format, times of sending and receiving the information and access to the same. TitanFile can also verify identity of the recipient to ensure the information reached it’s true destination.

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Tony Abou-Assaleh

President and COO of TitanFile, Tony is a computer scientist, researcher and an ex-Googler with extensive background in information security and team leadership.

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