I’ve always felt that legal precedence is the biggest driver for records management and archival policy, so it surprise me that I missed the CMS Watch article last week that changed the ownership of information in your corporate email account. The Circuit Courts of Appeals decision states that message between individuals on servers outside the company are private communications of the individual. This means that hosted email services, instant messaging services (like Yahoo, Google, and MSN) and text messages are protected.
And as Alan Pelz-Sharpe points out this will affect the archiving market. I also believe that this will open new opportunities for in-house instant messenger products, like Lotus Sametime, and slowdown hosted emails services as companies look to gain control over the messaging being done inside their organization. Remember there is still legal precedence that a company is responsible for messages between employees. Another legal case worth watching.