Ethics: Protect Your Electronic Contact List from Prying Eyes
July 6, 2022
Introduction to an Ethical Problem Most Attorneys Don’t Know About
In April of 2022, a headline caught our attention. It referenced a new legal ethics opinion issued by the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Professional Ethics. Opinion 1240 has this digest statement: “If ‘contacts’ on a lawyer’s smartphone include any client whose identity or other information is confidential under Rule 1.6, then the lawyer may not consent to share contacts with a smartphone app unless the lawyer concludes that no human being will view that confidential information, and that the information will not be sold or transferred to additional third parties, without the client’s consent.”
So . . . what client information do you have in your Contacts – and how many apps have you granted the power to access your Contacts? If you are clueless about whether you have granted this access to various apps, you are part of a very large club.