When was the last time you used a fax machine? If it was recently, it was probably to transmit documents of some legal weight. Yes, fax machines are usually the preferred method of digital document delivery in legal matters — even over email. But…why?
Fax: Nearly Tamperproof Since 1843
The fax machine is unique in that they are a relatively older technology, but a relatively secure technology. When we say “secure”, we’re referring a decreased risk of someone manipulating the document mid-transmission. Unlike modern internet, faxed messages travel across phone lines. These phone messages are much more difficult to intercept and nearly impossible to tamper with in term of the end result message. This is why a faxed message will usually hold up in court where an emailed message may not.
Email: Much More Easily Tampered With
We’re certainly not saying that email is not a secure form of message deliver — no, it’s the courts that are saying so. With any mode of digital messaging, there is always the risk of someone intercepting the information like your older brother listening in on a romantic conversation over a landline. Email, however, makes it easier for malicious third-parties to manipulate a document mid-transmission. This would be the difference between your older brother listening and your older brother pretending to be you and then telling your crush that they’re ugly. Email, like older brothers, can only be trusted to a certain degree.
No little brothers were harmed in the metaphors contained in this article. Not physically, anyway.