EDKA From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 293 posts, RR: 1 Posted (4 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1353 times:
Do you think it is ethical to use Bcc option on e-mails?
Personally, I do not think it is and I have never used it. I have just found out that my boss uses it quite frequently - and I find it really unethical.
The way I think is - either you copy someone or you don't.
PanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 7750 posts, RR: 26 Reply 1, posted (4 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1336 times:
there are many occasions where you have to send a copy to someone you do not want to disclose, for a number of reasons. What is unethical about that? You could also send an email and forward the copy to other recipients. but why the xtra work?
Unethical would be, if you forward a mail that you received and the sender explicitly asks that it should stay confidential.
SmittyOne From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 897 posts, RR: 2 Reply 2, posted (4 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1335 times:
I think it is clearly ethical if the communication is TO a recipient outside your unit / office, and the people on the BCC line are internal to your office. The inner workings and communications of your unit / office are not really the recipient's business in most cases.
On the other hand, a leader or coworker blind copying others on internal emails can be a little shady. Well intentioned or not, it feels like whispering behind somebody's back.
SW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6072 posts, RR: 10 Reply 5, posted (4 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1288 times:
I use BCC regularly. I'm one of those people who has to send an email to 20-30 people who don't know each other and may not want their email displayed without their personally giving it out, so I use BCC. Perfectly acceptable.
moo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3596 posts, RR: 4 Reply 6, posted (4 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1286 times:
Even in the situation where the email is directed at you, and your boss is showing someone else that he's contacted you about the issue, there is nothing ethically wrong about that either - its no different to your boss copying the email body into a second email and sending it on.
although, personally In the last 15 years, almost on a daily basis i either send or receive e-mails which are covered by the confidentiality agreements and i have never felt the need for bcc. Same goes for personal emails too.
but looks like i am in minority here
Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 2): On the other hand, a leader or coworker blind copying others on internal emails can be a little shady. Well intentioned or not, it feels like whispering behind somebody's back.
Thats exaclty how i look at it...
I was bcc-ed on the email from my boss, which was a continuation of a discussion four of us had yesterday. So i found it really odd that even though the conversation was between four of us, i get bcc-ed.
Quoting moo (Reply 6): its no different to your boss copying the email body into a second email and sending it on.
I agree its not, but for me i would have no issue with that...Bcc just feels like you are hiding something.
einsteinboricua From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2010, 2042 posts, RR: 6 Reply 12, posted (4 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1219 times:
I could ask the same question: CC on email: ethical or not?
I prefer BCC over CC, especially when companies send out emails to all customers. I got emailed by my gym with CC and customers got hold of my email and started sending THEIR junk my way. Needless to say, the gym got an earful from me and now all email is sent BCC.
What about when you don't want others to know who else is watching (which is the point of a BCC)? For instance, as president of an organization I email both members and officers about proceedings for amending our Constitution, but only those who are active members will receive the email. They don't have to know who else is voting: if they got an email, they're in. Or how about when you're having a conversation about something and you want another person involved? I had a situation where one of my officers accused me of being a biased and unfair leader, but it was all through email. Luckily, all my conversation was BCCd to our advisors who saw that I was in no way unfair or biased and it was simply utter nonsense. Had I not BCCd my advisors (or simply CCd) the story would have played out differently.
So, yes. I think it's ethical, provided that it's not used to harm anyone (like "confirming" personal data or sensitive information).
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Darksnowynight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 977 posts, RR: 1 Reply 13, posted (4 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1218 times:
Use it frequently. Not the least for BCC'ing things with attachments back to myself, as I'm often sending spreadsheets, etc, from work that I may need to reference from home (like most of us, I'm never really off duty), and it helps to have the latest updates available.
I also BCC my atty on every communication w/ my former wife. These things come in handy.
I will say that I do not believe in using the feature to air dirty laundry at work. To me, it's not a question of ethical or not. I just do not wish my boss to think I'm the kind of guy who doesn't know what confidentiality means. Tough to get promoted once you blow that one.
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PacNWJet From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 836 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (4 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1203 times:
At the university where I teach faculty have the ability to send an e-mail message to an entire class roster. This function defaults to BCC so that students in the class do not see other students' e-mail addresses so as to protect their privacy.
RussianJet From Kazakhstan, joined Jul 2007, 6259 posts, RR: 23 Reply 15, posted (4 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1199 times:
Absolutely it is ethical. When you send information it is your decision to tell who you want, when you want and how. The supposed ethical implications are no different from how you might choose to convey information personally - you may choose to tell certain people the same thing separate from others.
RussianJet From Kazakhstan, joined Jul 2007, 6259 posts, RR: 23 Reply 19, posted (4 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1090 times:
To extend the debate, I would suggest that the inherent question is so wide as to bear comparison also with the difference in oral communication between telling someone discreetly about something they need to know, and gossiping maliciously about someone behind their back with the intention of doing them harm. Basically, it just depends - but the various applications are too many to say simply that it is good or bad. Ultimately, it is just another facet of communication, and it is up to you whether you want to work ethically or not.
Revelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 10440 posts, RR: 20 Reply 20, posted (4 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1045 times:
Quoting EDKA (Thread starter): I have just found out that my boss uses it quite frequently - and I find it really unethical.
The way I think is - either you copy someone or you don't.
What's your views?
I think your context is for office email within your team, no?
Earlier in my current job when I was pretty new I was using BCC to keep the boss in the loop on some things others on the team did not include him on, because I felt he would want to know the stuff, and it all was work related, not political or personal.
Then I thought some more about it and felt it could be resented by others should they see things I bcc'd to him.
Now I don't use BCC in this situation at all. Now I'm more selective and have raised the bar a notch or two higher on the things I think he would want to see, and in this case I take the email and forward it, with a preface explaining why I thought he'd be interested in it.
Aesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 4763 posts, RR: 9 Reply 21, posted (4 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1044 times:
If you're sending the same email to several people for the same reason, then Bcc is fine.
If you're sending an email to somebody in particular, and want somebody else to have it for some reason, then I would find it better to copy the email into another with something added, or to say in the email itself that you're also sending it to HR/the boss/friend number two etc., at this point cc is just simpler.
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Braniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 2602 posts, RR: 1 Reply 23, posted (4 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 973 times:
I don't see anything wrong with BCC in general. I often use it to send out a group mail and just fill in the 'BCC' slot, I don't even name recipients. It is ethical if used in, well, an ethical fashion; and vice-versa.
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brilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 3163 posts, RR: 1 Reply 25, posted (4 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 888 times:
Using the BCC, is the same as sending a private letter to whom ever. I personally don't use it for e-mails as anything that goes on the internet is public domain and I don't understand why people who are posting crap on Facebook or Twitter all of a sudden don't want their e-mail addresses public makes no sense to me what so ever. If you don't want people to know who you are, you should not be revealing your life's stupid details about what you like and don't like.
sudden From Sweden, joined Jul 2001, 4127 posts, RR: 6 Reply 26, posted (4 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 884 times:
Quoting brilondon (Reply 25): If you don't want people to know who you are, you should not be revealing your life's stupid details about what you like and don't like.
Could not agree more!
However, I work in a global company where the board at times address the employees, and then they use BCC. Common practise and nothing wrong with it. So in a business environment I would say it's common practise every so often. But when sending from your personal account at home I see no real reason.
mham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3000 posts, RR: 3 Reply 27, posted (4 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 852 times:
Quoting RussianJet (Reply 18): Depends on what and why, probably. However, we're not talking about phone calls. To extrapolate your logic, would you suggest it was unethical to tell someone about a letter you sent to someone?
But letting others in on the speaker phone without telling the person to whom he's talking is the same as secretly passing emails. The key word is 'secret'. He is no longer talking to whom he has been led to believe is on the other end. Do you bthink it ethical? I can't say I do.
And no, "telling" somebody about a letter is not the same as passing it around. At least one forum I know will give you an immediate and permanent banning for posting private messages among members.
Quoting casinterest (Reply 22): BCC is ethical, but should be reserved for true issues of privacy and information duplication.
I think this is a reasonable way of looking at it.
type-rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4342 posts, RR: 21 Reply 29, posted (4 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 811 times:
I use BCC when forwarding e-mails to others to prevent that long list of addresses that usually accompanies forwarded e-mails. It also prevents you from rrefvealing peoples e-mail addresses in case they don't want them made public. Viruses and spam software often scan these e-mails looking for e-mail addresses to send their Zombie software to.
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