Mail Goggles: an idea that goes well beyond drunk emails

Mail Goggles: an idea that goes well beyond drunk emails

Summary: There's a new GMail Labs app: Mail Goggles, by GMail engineer Jon Perlow:When you enable Mail Goggles, it will check that you're really sure you want to send that late night Friday email. And what better way to check than by making you solve a few simple math problems after you click send to verify you're in the right state of mind?

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There's a new GMail Labs app: Mail Goggles, by GMail engineer Jon Perlow:

Mail Goggles:  an idea that goes well beyond drunk emails

When you enable Mail Goggles, it will check that you're really sure you want to send that late night Friday email. And what better way to check than by making you solve a few simple math problems after you click send to verify you're in the right state of mind? ... Hopefully Mail Goggles will prevent many of you out there from sending messages you wish you hadn't. Like that late night memo -- I mean mission statement -- to the entire firm.

Jon's idea is lighthearted and fun, but when you look past the humor and consider it more broadly it's quite brilliant. The current climate of panic is not confined to the financial markets. Corporate legal departments are bombarded with articles and concerns about online corporate communications, liability and more liability. The tug-of-war between PR/communications professionals and in-house legal continues to escalate as it becomes idiotic (if not impossible) for companies to remain on the sidelines of the Live Web. How do you train people to address the IP, defamation, and other legal concerns involved in free-flowing Web dialogue? Must every blog post and wall entry be vetted by a team of lawyers?

Expanding on Jon Perlow's Mail Goggles idea sounds like a great solution. I like the notion of a straightforward and unburdensome series of questions as precursor to "publish." Instead of math problems, people could be asked to briefly confirm they've cleared rights on images, protected confidential information, and complied with policies on the quality of discourse and information provided. If uncertain on any of those fronts, they could be reminded what to do next. While a cookie-cutter approach couldn't possibly address every legal nuance and pitfall, it could at least act as a sort of triage, speeding innocuous items out the door and letting the moderation/review process hone in on more complicated situations.

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Topics: Browser, Cloud, Collaboration, Google

Denise Howell

About Denise Howell

Denise Howell is an appellate, intellectual property and technology lawyer who enjoys broad industry recognition for her expertise on the intersection of emerging technologies and law.

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5 comments
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  • A pain if done wrong

    I send as many as 100 emails a day. Most have no legal ramifications as they are between colleges working on a project at the detail level or simple answers of facts. Of the 100 there are maybe 4-5 that I should be careful what I say. So there needs to be a cheap filter before I get the heavy duty questions.
    wdlists@...
    • My thought exactly

      If done right, it could save everybody some headaches.
      Denise Howell
      • Yeah, but a BIG problem....

        Yeah, but a BIG problem....expecting for things to be done right. If things were done right in banks, we would not be bailing them out. If things were done right in government....well, you get the idea.

        I was one of the 69% who said they would not check the boxes after reviewing them, they would just check away and click away.
        MaxLaw
  • RE: Mail Goggles: an idea that goes well beyond drunk emails

    Fundamental issue is not taking responsibility for their actions, imho.
    LostValley
  • An improved version of Goggles

    I used Mail Goggles religiously. If anyone out there used Goggles too, you might interested in a Chrome extension for Gmail I built called Send Keeper. It helps increase your email efficiency. It's free :) Please check it out! www.sendkeeper.com
    David Rigbye