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General Chat Thread, Who 'owns' a free email account? in General; Here's one I need some help on - I didn't know which discussion to use so put it here & ...
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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    Who 'owns' a free email account?

    Here's one I need some help on - I didn't know which discussion to use so put it here & apologies if wrong.

    When a school creates an email account with the likes of Yahoo, Hotmail, etc for a member of staff to use in their job - who actually 'owns' the account? The school - or the user? I would say the school especially as I was the one who set it up for the user and used the school name and the department the person worked in in the username.

    We've got a situation now where a member of our support staff resigned in the summer holiday. They were asked to provide the email password so that the new person could carry on and use the email account. They didn't respond with the password but as I knew the signing up details as I was the one who set up the account, I requested a password change, confirmed the security question details, etc, and was able to access the account.

    The person who left is now in a strop and threatening to take us to court as we 'hacked' their email account. There's no pleasing some people is there :-)

    As the account contained personal emails I think this is the basis of their argument.

    No policy was ever implemented regarding the usage of the account.

    Where do we stand? I have phoned LEA legal dept. and they'll get back to me...

    ...any suggestions, similar experiences?

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    Re: Who 'owns' a free email account?

    If you made it up then it is yours..

    You should have the secret "word" so you can select "forgot password" and they will email a new password to your email account and then you can access the account

    They can't take you to court as you set up the account and gave them the password to use the account..

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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    Re: Who 'owns' a free email account?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grommit
    You should have the secret "word" so you can select "forgot password" and they will email a new password to your email account and then you can access the account
    Yeah, that's what I've done and gotten control of the account - hence the ex-employees umbrage...

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Re: Who 'owns' a free email account?

    Well doesn’t the company own the address there is probably a term that states that you are only using the address they can withdraw at anytime etc.

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    Re: Who 'owns' a free email account?

    And thats exactly what hotmail would do in this case, withdraw the account as it would be more of a headache to sort it out.

    Do you not have your own email system?

    If it was given explicitly as a work email they should not have been using it for personal stuff anyway, however if no document to cover this was made/signed then you're stuffed basically.

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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    Re: Who 'owns' a free email account?

    Quote Originally Posted by Domino
    And thats exactly what hotmail would do in this case, withdraw the account as it would be more of a headache to sort it out.

    Do you not have your own email system?

    If it was given explicitly as a work email they should not have been using it for personal stuff anyway, however if no document to cover this was made/signed then you're stuffed basically.
    We have our own email system now - this is going back to five years ago when the college was still in the stone age.

    Oh, look - where did I just get this email acceptable use policy from...?!?!

    ;-)

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Re: Who 'owns' a free email account?

    Its not going to cost much for your own e-mail system, you can buy a cheap server and the domain name and your away. As for the software use Linux & Apache like I am its free. Also if you do this you will have your own web space.

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    Re: Who 'owns' a free email account?

    Quote Originally Posted by FN-Greatermanchester
    Its not going to cost much for your own e-mail system, you can buy a cheap server and the domain name and your away. As for the software use Linux & Apache like I am its free. Also if you do this you will have your own web space.
    I know, thanks. But the college went down the expensive route - exchange, etc.

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    Re: Who 'owns' a free email account?

    Exchange is the best

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    Re: Who 'owns' a free email account?

    Zimbra is better 8)

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    Re: Who 'owns' a free email account?

    don't get into a Windows, Linux, MAC fight lol. Each software has its pros and cons but at the end of the day they do the same job

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    Re: Who 'owns' a free email account?

    Quote Originally Posted by FN-Greatermanchester
    don't get into a Windows, Linux, MAC fight lol. Each software has its pros and cons but at the end of the day they do the same job
    Yeah, but Exchange is just too expensive.

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    Re: Who 'owns' a free email account?

    They legally don't have a leg to stand on since its an email address set up and created by the school, it is therefore your property. If they can prove that it is their property then they will win in court.

    However THEY CAN'T. How can they prove its their own personal email?

    If it was for purposes of use by the company (i.e. the school) it is therefore the property of said company, and such data therefore is business to do with the company.

    Under the data protection act when details/data of a user on a system are no longer relevant such data must be removed. You are therefore complying with another law.

    He/She is basically a moron, let him/her go to court and incur all the costs since (s)he has absolutely no evidence that it was his/her personal email address nor that it was 'hacked' (which it wasn't).

    You can buy in / use third party email accounts like easymail, they are your property. Hotmail/GMail/Yahoo/whatever should really be no different. It is an asset of the company and said obnoxious person will not win any legal battle in this case.

    To save yourself further future agro, get your own in-house email

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    Re: Who 'owns' a free email account?

    Yes I know what you mean Microsoft complain about piracy maybe if the prices come down then it might stop some people?

    What new futures does Exchange 2007 compared to Exchange 2003 anything significant?

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    Re: Who 'owns' a free email account?

    Google apps has the option of having email linked to your domain. We use it to give kids a temp email account in year 3 to be used for 3 lessons and then dumped. Works like a charm, and is free. Easy Mail wanted £500 for 100 extra accounts. 8O

    Still free Gmail but you admin it yourself and have full control over whose email account gets deleted or reused.

    Its quicker and cheaper than easymail.

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