Slack updates settings making conversations less private

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Slack introduce new privacy settings ahead of GDPR
Slack introduce new privacy settings ahead of GDPR

Slack has just updated its privacy settings and tools which may give some users cause for concern.

Under the new rules, Slack customers who pay for certain premium services will be able to download all the data from their workspace, both public and private, apparently without informing members of the community. Meaning that information from both private messages and room chats are accessible to the Slack group owner, providing they are on a premium plan.

Given the current concerns about data privacy, with the Cambridge Analytica scandal hitting the headlines over the past few days, it seems like odd timing from Slack. However, GDPR Compliance comes into effect next month and many organisations are gearing up by making changes to their data protection and privacy policies.

In response to an article by Fast Company, Slack responded claiming that the changes help users to prepare for GDPR…

“Slack announced several changes to our product offerings and policies to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We are announcing these changes so customers can prepare themselves for GDPR’s implementation, which impacts any company offering goods or services to EU-based customers. For the latest information about changes to our tools and Privacy Policy please see our Help Center and Privacy Policy.”

The changes are in line with EU law – which allows employers to read personal messages if they are sent during working hours. It’s important for employees to be wary when discussing private matters using internal communication platforms – as workspace owners or senior management may be snooping.