You may be unknowingly sharing confidential data with the whole organisation if your Microsoft Teams/Office 365 Group permission settings are set to public.
Please note, by default the permission settings for a new Office 365 Group or Team in Microsoft Teams is Private, therefore if the settings are public, this would have been selected manually.
There are private and public teams in Microsoft Teams and groups in Office 365 groups.
- Private Teams/Office 365 Groups – Data of any kind (including Microsoft Teams Meeting recordings) shared in these Private spaces are accessible only by members of these teams/groups, unless permissions for the individual documents and meeting recordings are deliberately set to be shared more widely with others or the whole organisation.
- Public Teams/Office 365 Groups – Data of any kind shared in these groups (including Microsoft teams meeting recordings) is accessible by the whole organisation including staff and students. This leaves the University open to a data breach. Owners of public Teams/Groups should make sure all members are aware the settings are public.
When your Team or Group is set to Public in the permission settings, data of any kind, created or shared in this group, including meeting recordings, is going to be discoverable by all users inside the University, including staff and students. If confidential information is shared in these public teams/groups, this could be a potential General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) breach.
Follow these instruction guides below to change your permission settings from Public to Private:
Not sure if your Microsoft Team is public or Private? You can check these settings in Microsoft Teams by following these instructions:
- Go into Microsoft Teams
- Select the ‘More Options’ cog icon that you will find next to the ‘Join or create a team’ button
- Select ‘Manage Teams’
- This window will give you a list of all your teams. Under the ‘type’ column, you can see a ‘Padlock’ icon symbolising that the team is private, or if it has a little ‘globe’ icon, it means that team is public*
*Class Teams – Class teams, while labelled as public in your teams list, are always private, and cannot be made public, so the content in a Class team is only ever available to team members and owners. We have contacted Microsoft to highlight the confusion caused by this labelling. If you are unsure if your team is a class team or not, you can identify a class team as these groups have a Class notebook and Grades tab at the top of the screen where you find the files tab.
Please note, to check if your Office 365 Group is public or private, follow this guide to check and change these settings.