Think about the last Slack — a popular office messaging platform — you sent. Were you complaining about a co-worker? The office temperature? The decreasingly good options in the café on the third floor? Well, it’s now possible for your company to download and read those messages without your knowledge. Slack announced some changes to its policies this week, and among them was a tidbit about how certain Slack work-space owners — companies paying for Plus and Enterprise Grid plans — can now “request access to a self-service export tool to download all data from their workspace.” Meaning if you work at a place that operates on one of those plans … you might want to watch what is going down in your DMs.
The first thing here is a big old “duh.” You should already be careful about what you’re saying on Slack. Save your hot gossip for Gchat er, um, Google Hangouts. Hopefully, this news doesn’t make you want to double back and delete handfuls of messages. Mostly because you don’t have problematic messages to delete because you never sent them in the first place.
For employees at places operating on Slack’s Free and Standard plans, Slack’s old terms still apply. If you work at one of those companies and your boss wants to get into your DMs, they will have to have “valid legal process,” or “consent of members,” or “a requirement or right under applicable laws.” Meaning you’ll probably know if somebody is trying to read your messages. (This used to be the case for all Slack plans prior to Wednesday’s announcement.) Slack is also doing away with the “compliance export,” a paid service that, like the new self-service export tool, also lets companies access “public and private channels and direct messages.” The difference between the two was that the compliance-exports feature required Slack users to be notified if it was being used.