Director, Review Services and Counsel
February 7, 2022
Parties to anticipated litigation should be mindful of announced changes to the auto-expiration of Teams recordings and their preservation obligations once litigation is reasonably anticipated.
In July 2021, Microsoft announced the initial development of a new auto-expiration feature on Microsoft Teams meeting recordings stored on OneDrive and Sharepoint. On January 31, 2022, Microsoft announced that the default auto-expiration period for Teams recordings will increase to 120 days from the previously announced 60 days.
New recordings will be set to automatically expire 120 days after they are recorded if no action is taken. Administrators and Users can choose a different default expiration period (minimum of 1 day, or a maximum of 99,999 days) or set meeting recordings to not expire at all through the Teams admin center. According to a recent update on the Microsoft roadmap, deployment of this auto-expiration feature is currently delayed until March 2022.
From a general document management or records retention perspective, it is important for organizations to consider whether a 120-day retention period is adequate and defensible. For a retention policy to be reasonable, it must reflect statutory and regulatory obligations, as well as business considerations. Recordings of different types of meetings may also require different retention periods as they will be governed by varying statutory, regulatory, or business requirements.
Note that retention or legal hold policies implemented through the Microsoft 365 compliance center override the Teams auto-expiration feature. This means that if the compliance center setting is longer than the Teams auto-expiration period, the compliance center settings will govern.
From an eDiscovery perspective, this is a significant change from the prior Teams default of maintaining recordings indefinitely.