Technology Trap

Monday, December 03, 2001
Technology is changing all our lives, sometimes for the better. Informed people are using it more and more to get their message to the biggest target audience they can reach. In this respect it is good to see that the London Maritime Arbitrators Association, for example, is considering distributing its newsletter by email, and putting it on the LMAA website. There is a downside to technology, however. The UK P&I Club, for example, says there is increasing evidence in the US that the plaintiff bar is trolling information from the websites of club members to help target litigation against them. Websites may outline corporate aims, target audiences and areas of operation. Some specify safety committees, policy programmes, specific responsibilities and contact details. This sort of information, of course, can help adversarial litigators gauge how far a company is following its own policies, and to establish US jurisdiction. The UK Club's recommendation to members to make sure that freely available website information is accurate and up-to-date must qualify as advice of the very best kind. And those readers who have been in shipping and insurance for some time may like to reflect on the fact that P&I clubs advising their members to make sure that the information they distribute is up-to-date, rather than - as some might have done as recently as ten years ago - cautioning them against giving out any information at all about themselves, constitutes a change very much for the better. Source: Maritime Advocate

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