Hillary and the divide


Federal Records Act

In March 2015, Hillary Clinton appeared in the news around the world. As United States Secretary of State (2009-2013), she had exclusively used private email for official communications, rather than official State Department email accounts maintained on federal servers. She said:

“Everything I did was permitted. There was no law. There was no regulation. There was nothing that did not give me the full authority to decide how I was going to communicate.”

That “nothing”, the Federal Records Act, was amended late 2014 to fix that little problem around Clinton’s “convenient” usage of one private email account for confidential government documents. From that point onward, it became illegal for government professionals to mix private and professional communications.

Personal and Professional Messenger 

For some, it's a no-brainer to separate private and professional emails. Today, I have 4 different email accounts on my device: one for e.g. commercial communications, one for private messages, and two for professional use.

Soon WhatsApp will allow commercial parties to communicate with us, similar to what Facebook Messenger does today. Super convenient I guess… But are we okay with one messenger where we tell our spouses we love them, organize our kids’ teams on the weekends, receive solicitations from hotels that want us back that Summer, and discuss a challenging case with our peers?

Shouldn’t we prefer to have a separate messenger that is fully dedicated for the privacy sensitive – and, from time to time, graphic nature of our professional conversations?