A 90 Day Data Retention Schedule for MS Teams Chat Coming April 30

Instant messaging apps has become one of our essential tools to communicate and stay connected with one another. We often overlook the amount of data that is collected by asking a simple question or participating in casual banter. To comply with UBC Records Management policies and requirements, UBC will be implementing a 90-day data retention schedule to the MS Teams instant messaging feature starting April 30, 2021.  

A Data Retention Schedule provides guidance on how long records must be kept and ensures records are not indefinitely stored if they are no longer needed.  This will reduce risk related to data breaches and maximize the usage of storage space.

In addition, MS Teams’ Chat feature is intended to be used as a communications platform for casual conversations.  It is not meant for exchanging confidential or sensitive data, or for critical/formal decision making.

How will conversations and files be impacted:

The 90-day data retention schedule will only impact personal chats in the context of one-to-one and group chats (including meetings). The schedule does not impact conversations hosted within a Teams channel. 

Any conversations that go beyond a 90-day period since creation will be deleted from the system.  This will include any conversations that are over the 90-day period once the schedule is implemented.  

Links to files shared in one-to-one chats or group chats will also be removed from the conversation at the 90-day mark; however, they will still be accessible in the MS OneDrive of the original sender.

If you require files and information to be referenced past the 90 days, please consider hosting them in a Teams channel or MS OneDrive. In addition, we recommend reviewing your conversations that will be older than 90 days by the time this schedule is implemented (on April 30) to ensure that you have the links and/or files that you need.

How teaching and learning will be impacted:

Conversations from instructors and/or students hosted outside of the “Teams” site that they belong to, will be impacted as they fall under the 90-day data retention schedule. 

Where to go for information:

For more information, visit the MS Teams page on the UBC IT service catalogue.  If you have any questions, contact our IT Service Centre.