SOLVED

New App Launcher and privacy

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Frequent Contributor

THe new app launcher looks great, but has anyone thought about the following scenario.

 

You are presenting to an audience or working with a group of people or IT tech support. You go into office 365 and access the launcher. 

 

Document titles that maybe private or highly confidential maybe unintentionally exposed. I doubt there is anyway to block that other than to advise people to make obscure titles to these types of documents....

 

For a presentation open you apps ahead of time and hope nothing crashes. 

 

Thoughts? 

25 Replies

Interesting point.  Just to be clear, it's the changes as mentioned in this discussion. I could see that scenario you mentioned happening but if planning ahead, either use a dedicated test account that won't reveal anything unintentional or do a quick check beforehand.  Even so, it will probably catch someone out sooner or later, if in a rush.

 

It's like having Delve built-in to the app launcher?It's like having Delve built-in to the app launcher?

I've gotten so paranoid about using a test account when teaching seminars. Almost any page can reveal file names and other information. Let alone Delve!

But not every user has access to test accounts of course.
By the way, if your landing page is the Office 365 Home Page or even Delve, you can also potentially show confidential documents there

Additional license costs and complexity just to avoid something like that. I'm not sure that will go down well with smaller organisations. 

 

Still it will take for a major blunder for someone to reconsider this. 

 

It is convenience over security, which should be balanced. 

 

 

 

Good point and I do agree.  Basically, what we are saying is that Documents area in the new App launcher should be configurable and users can opt out of it if they have any need to do so (or have a presenter mode or something)?

 

This is certainly a benefit of Microsoft announcing changes well in advance, with a video no less, we can collectively get our feedback in early and see if things can be changed.  On the support article, they are asking for feedback via the  Was this information helpful? option.  This is what I submitted (there is limited space allowed, so couldn't put too much):

 

"Great to have info in advance, allows us to prepare for changes. How about making the Documents area configurable?  Scenario is the user is giving presentation/webinar and unbeknown to them, they reveal information simply be showing the app launcher."

best response confirmed by Philip Worrell (Frequent Contributor)
Solution

Thanks all for the feedback and discussion. If there are documents that you do not want to show in your recent documents section in the new Office 365 app launcher, you can go to www.office.com and use the "remove from list" action on a document that is in your Recent online documents, and it will also remove the document from the app launcher document section, as the services are integrated. 

 

We also released a blog article today that includes a more in-depth video on the new experiences of www.office.com and the Office 365 app launcher that you may be interested in:

https://blogs.office.com/en-us/2017/09/22/new-office-365-app-launcher-and-office-com-help-you-be-mor...

Thanks for the update Katie. Glad to know there is an option to remove.



I'm a little late here, but we just got the new launcher and I just found this thread. It's good that there is at least removal process for individual items, but this seems unrealistic, cumbersome and not terribly intuitive to most users who, in my experience, use only the 'fly-out' app launcher, not the main page.

 

I have posted a suggestion on uservoice to allow users to remove/disable the recent documents feature of the app launcher (https://office365.uservoice.com/forums/264636-general/suggestions/32521006-remove-recent-documents-f...), but is there any down-side to such a request that I am missing (aside from not having my recent documents pushed to me)?

 

Also, is the recent documents SOLELY my own documents or does it also integrate results from others I have been working/sharing with, a la Delve?

 

Thanks for your time.

Thanks for the feedback. The documents in the new App Launcher includes any recent Office Online document you have opened, regardless of whether you authored it or not. It is the first three documents in the Recent Documents list you will see on www.office.com. 

Thanks, Katie. That helps. So if I understand you correctly: If I share File A with someone, then go and open a dozen other documents, THEN the other person opens File A, that file will NOT then appear at the top of my recent documents, correct?

 

Also, any info on whether there are options for hiding the recent documents altogether?

Hi Bill, yes your understanding is correct. The documents module in the new App Launcher will only show the last three online documents you opened. However, on www.Office.com the Documents section of the page has an activity view and additional filters like "Discover" to help you keep track of activity from others on documents you care about--regardless of whether you've opened them or not. The Discover tab in particular is what you will find on Delve.

As of now, there is not a way to remove the documents module all together from the new launcher. We will continue to monitor feedback and usage however, to see if we need to make changes in the future. So I fully understand, is your concern from the document module primarily around the visibility of your documents to others--as indicated at the beginning of this thread? Or something else?

Thanks for the confirmation, Katie, and glad to hear it works that way.

As for hiding/disabling the module itself from the app launcher, the privacy is a secondary issue for me. As a technology trainer for the university, that is important, but as a general user, I honestly don't see enough value in my recent documents showing in my app launcher. I can see a simple universal search box being added, and even the 'New' documents option possibly, but I would really like the app launcher to just launch apps, not try to be everything for everyone. Can you share the reason why recent documents was added to the app launcher in the first place? Was it in response to user demand or just as bonus 'that would be neat/might be useful' thing?

The docs module was added to the launcher in an effort to help users get back to or get started with their work in Office documents more efficiently. We saw through the recent documents on office.com that many users started to utilize their recent document list more frequently than the app tiles in order to navigate to our Office online apps. We will continue to solicit feedback and watch usage on this new area to determine if it is successful in accomplishing this intent. Thanks again for engaging and the feedback.

Ah, I see. Fair enough, and thanks for the explanation.

That said, because I'm interested (or nosy, take your pick), do those analytics show that users used the recent docs to edit the desired recent docs or as a shortcut to the app itself (i.e., did the majority of users immediately edit the recent document they clicked or did they navigate to their OneDrive or create a new file, instead)?

Most users edit the doc, but we see other behaviors as well. Our intent is to help facilitate navigation to the next spot a user wants to go in Office 365 as efficiently as possible.

I'm familiar with confidential content, but not confidential file names. Can you give me some real world examples of when this would be an actual security or compliance violation?

Currently I am running a job search and there are internal candidates which is considered confidential information. Their application materials include last name and first initial in the file names.

So when I did a class on Office 365 last week did I use my own account? No I did not.

Thanks for sharing, that is a great example that I had not considered.
Next round or redundancies January 2018.xlsx
or Investigation into xxxxxxxx for misconduct.docx
Merger with Company YYYYYYY.docx

People do that..