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Re: OT - A Simple Plea

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 21:32:22 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200305222032.h4MKWM801581@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

> Would all those who use "Out of Office" messages *please* unsubscribe 
> from mailing lists before they do so?

This sort of request doesn't work, as IT departments are in love with them,
as they are in love with bulky "this is confidential" signatures.  I repeatedly
write to some of the main offenders, including their Postmasters, particularly
Unisys and the UK cabinet office, but with no result.

They argue that business contacts think they are being ignored if they don't
get one, and Microsoft reputedly refuse to implement precedence list and
precedence bulk header handling because there is no standards trace RFC
for them, so they don't need to implement them to have a compliant product.

Auto-response are often organisation level policies.  Confidentiality
notices almost always are.

A lot of the people who generate them are policy makers, who passively
monitor the list and therefore don't have the technical knowledge to
customise the auto-response process and never suffer themselves, as they
never post.

The only tactic that half works is that used by the NTBUGTRAQ list, which
got about 80 per posting, where they set the reply to address to be the
list and summararily unsubscribed anyone who offended.

I've tried pointing out that auto-responses can leak sensitive company
and personal information to unknown people and that confidentiality
notices on non-confidential material undermine the notice when it really
is needed, as well as signalling a beaurocratic organisation.
Received on Thursday, 22 May 2003 16:32:30 GMT

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