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New Contributor

We're really keen to roll out Teams to our employees but we've been asked several times whether conversations under the "Chat" tab are accessible by admins or anyone else in the organisation. We've got the Office 365 Business Premium subscription. We want employees to be able to chat to each other openly without fear of oversight. Can anyone please confirm what the case might be?

 

Thanks!

17 Replies
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The Chat tab is for private messages between users and cannot be accessed by anyone else, other than those involved in the chat. You can also turn off the ability for people to privately chat (but it sounds like you want to keep this on) https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Administrator-settings-for-Microsoft-Teams-3966a3f5-7e0f-4e...
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Thanks for your swift reply! So eDiscovery allows you to audit private chats but since that's only available on E3 and E5 Office 365 tiers, private chats remain truly private?

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Best Response confirmed by Juan Carlos González Martín (MVP)
Solution
Actually for the purpose of eDiscovery and Hold, Microsoft Team private chats are copied into a hidden folder in the user's Exchange Online mailbox, that's accessible by eDiscovery:

Conversations that are part of a Microsoft Teams channel are stored in the mailbox that's associated with the Microsoft Team. Similarly, files that team members share in a channel are stored on the team's SharePoint site. Therefore, you have to place the Microsoft Team mailbox and SharePoint site on hold to retain conversations and files in a channel.

Alternatively, conversations that are part of the Chat list in Microsoft Teams are stored in the mailbox of the user's who participate in the chat. And files that a user shares in Chat conversations are stored in the OneDrive for Business site of the user who shares the file. Therefore, you have to place the individual user mailboxes and OneDrive for Business sites on hold to retain conversations and files in the Chat list. That's why it's a good idea to place a hold on the mailboxes of members of a Microsoft Team in addition to placing the team mailbox (and site) on hold.

IMPORTANT: Users who participate in conversations that are part of the Chat list in Microsoft Teams must have an Exchange Online (cloud-based) mailbox in order to retain chat conversations when the mailbox is placed on an eDiscovery hold. That's because conversations that are part of the Chat list are stored in the cloud-based mailboxes of the chat participants. If a chat participant doesn't have an Exchange Online mailbox, you won't be able to retain chat conversations. For example, in an Exchange hybrid deployment, users with an on-premises mailbox might be able to participate in conversations that are part of the Chat list in Microsoft Teams. However in this case, content from these conversation can't be retained because the users don't have cloud-based mailboxes.

Every Microsoft Team or team channel contains a Wiki for note-taking and collaboration. The Wiki content is automatically saved to a file with a .mht format. This file is stored in the Teams Wiki Data document library on the team's SharePoint site. You can place the content in the Wiki on hold by placing the team's SharePoint site on hold.

NOTE: The capability to retain Wiki content for a Microsoft Team or team channel (when you place the team's SharePoint site on hold) was released on June 22, 2017. If a team site is on hold, the Wiki content will be retained starting on that date. However, if a team site is on hold and the Wiki content was deleted before June 22, 2017, the Wiki content was not retained.

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Manage-eDiscovery-cases-in-the-Office-365-Security-Complian...

https://www.successwithteams.com/GetStartedSection?name=SecurityCompliance

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@Sonia Cuff 

 

In an education environment, we need the teachers to be able to monitor the private chats of the students. We feel this is an extremely important feature to have. Please consider adding this functionality?

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Thanks for the link. However, we have previewed this with the teachers and they're wanting more of an interactive approach which would allow them to watch and intervene in private chats in real-time. The linked solution is good for a corporate-compliance scenario, but it doesn't have the flexibility to help with situations involving bullying, self-harm, or other issues when direct intervention is needed.
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i work for a big company in HR dept. and use teams. i love it. now i am haveing issues with employees createing drama in the pm/dm chats is there any way possible to get chat logs of these pm/dm of the employees.

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Doing a content search from the compliance center is the way here in order to get all records!

Is it existing content still there there is of course the option to make yourself a member and go in and make things right :)

Now Teams are also supporting dlp policies which can trigger on certain subjects!
Also there is supervision triggering on certain words
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Hello @Sonia Cuff and everyone interested. I would like to have just a confirmation: if I understood correctly, admins cannot have access by Default to the private Chat on Teams. This can be done only through Tools like eDiscovery or Compliance Content search or Audit logs (and all the otherO365 Information Protection Tools). And the use of the latters can be limited only to ceratin persons/roles within the Company. Am I correct?

 

I am concerned from a data protection/privacy Point of view. For sake of clarity, my comapny has an E5 License, hence all the Inofrmation protection Tools are available.

 

Thanks in Advance for your Reply. 

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We have done this without ediscovery what you need I an account in office 365 that has access to all users mailboxes. Then we have developed a script that runs continually using MFCMapi (mfcmapi can see the teams chat folder under conversation history) it them collects all new chats and adds them to sql dB. It scans each mailbox one after the other. The teams group/channels chats is a no go as Microsoft do not journal that like they do with 1 to 1 chat. Everywhere states it’s hidden in the group mailbox, this isn’t true it’s stored in azure (Microsoft’s azure same as 1to 1 chat) the difference is Microsoft journal 1 to 1 chat to users mailboxes. They do not and never will journal group/channels chat to outlook.
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@Chrisitech1179350 

 

Could you please elaborate on the script used for downloading the private (1 to 1) messages?

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Can't this now be done with supervision polices?  I have it setup per https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/compliance/supervision-policies and have the advanced compliance add-on that is required.  It seems like once a week I get 1 days worth of chats and never get the rest.  I know it only connects to teams 1 every 24 hours but I'm still missing a lot of chats.  Has anyone had any success with this?

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@jimmyinc 

Have you considered that the employees' drama is symptomatic of a more broad corporate issue? Like the inclination to snoop into their personal affairs?

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@Sonia Cuff 

 

This part "IMPORTANT: Users who participate in conversations that are part of the Chat list in Microsoft Teams must have an Exchange Online (cloud-based) mailbox in order to retain chat conversations when the mailbox is placed on an eDiscovery hold. That's because conversations that are part of the Chat list are stored in the cloud-based mailboxes of the chat participants." isn't quite try I dont think because the 1:1 chat data will be stored in a EXO shadow mailbox. Where I work, our Teams users dont have EXO, and we dont have hybrid enabled, but we can recover chat information from Content Search / eDiscovery. 

 

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-teams-blog/microsoft-teams-supports-ediscovery-for-...

 

 

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@Daniel Smith Teams Chat monitoring is now available via senso.cloud, please contact your Microsoft Representative for more information.

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You should check out Senso.Cloud for Teams Monitoring for education. It has just been released and offers keyword monitoring over many libraries such as suicide, extremism, bullying, self harm etc. @Daniel Smith  You are able to access the chat logs and also offers image analysis which will flag any inappropriate images from chats.  https://www.senso.cloud/

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yeah i think so, the teacher knew who was complaing about her in private chats @Michel Fathallah