Disclaimers are a waste of paper and time, it is claimed

Long disclaimers at the bottom of emails should be banned, according to MPs.

Sir Alan Duncan has said that the emails cause “forests’ worth of paper”, and has presented a bill to ban the practice.

He has presented a bill to parliament that would ban the practice for public companies, telling MPs that the disclaimers should be replaced with a short link.

Printing out emails often means accidentally printing all of the disclaimer at the bottom, which can add up to a number of pages.

Email disclaimers usually include messages telling those receiving them to respect confidentiality and copyright, and information about viruses and the scanning that has been done to the message. They are usually sent by default, being appended to any external emails on their way out so that people might not even be aware they’re being included.

But they are mostly useless, according to The Economist. They impose a one-way contract on the person receiving them, and are therefore mostly impossible to enforce, at least in Europe.

They continue to cling on partly because company lawyers insist on using them since everyone else is, the Economist said.