Before this update Slack only allowed employers to access private message data through a compliance export. The new self-service tool expands the functionality of these compliance exports, making it simple for an employer to download and access all data from a workspace regardless of privacy settings.
Companies that only use the Free or Standard tiers of slack will not feature this update, but administrators can still request access to private message data with valid legal grounds for doing so under all applicable laws.
Employees who keep their private messages professional and work-related likely have no reason to worry about this new change in Slack policy. However, employees who spend too much time on personal conversations instead of working, and those who send harassing, sexually suggestive, or offensive messages to other employees will likely face swifter disciplinary action after this change.
It is also important to note that even seemingly harmless comments and conversations could lead to problems in the workplace. Because your employer can easily access your private message data after this privacy update, it is always best to ensure you do not send any messages you would not want your employer to see.
While employees who do not engage in unethical or unprofessional private conversations at work largely have nothing to fear from the new Slack change, it can still be unsettling to know your employer can access your private message data at any time with relative ease. If you are worried your instant message conversations with coworkers could become a problem in the future, a few best practices will help protect you.
The new Slack change may seem intrusive to some employees, but the reality is that if your employer pays for the Slack service, the employer has the right to take full advantage of the features of the service and ensure you are performing your job duties and staying on-task.