Important! Microsoft Changes Policy for Recordings of Teams Personal (1:1) Calls

Change Effective on December 18

Update (December 11): Microsoft has decided to pause implementation of this change to make some additional code changes. Expect news about what will happen to govern the recordings of personal Teams calls in the new year.

Office 365 Notification MC227292 posted on 26 November advises of a change to how Teams controls the ability of individual users to record 1:1 calls. This feature, which allows people to make recordings of calls with other individuals, was introduced earlier this year.

Recordings are stored in Stream or OneDrive for Business, depending on whether the tenant has switched the storage location for Teams recordings. If OneDrive is used, the recording is stored in the account of the person who starts the recording. In Stream, the originator is the owner of the recording. OneDrive for Business is a better option for people who record calls with others outside the tenant because they can share the recording afterwards. Stream doesn’t allow its files to be shared outside the tenant.

Controlling Teams Recordings

Up to now, the AllowCloudRecording setting in the Teams meeting policy assigned to accounts has controlled if a user can initiate recording. If True, the user can record a call. If False, they can’t. However, the setting is really intended to control whether people can record meetings instead of personal calls, and the change introduces a new setting called AllowCloudRecordingForCalls to differentiate between the two types. In addition, the new setting is in the Teams calling policy applied to accounts rather than the Teams meeting policy (editorial comment: policies is one thing Teams is not short of).

What’s important to realize is that the default state of the setting is False, which means that once Microsoft switches the policies on December 18 users won’t be able to record their personal 1:1 calls unless action is taken to update calling policies. The quick fix is to update the setting in the policy to True until the organization assesses if it’s a good idea to allow people to make recordings of this nature.

Updating the Calling Policy with PowerShell

To make the change with PowerShell, do the following. First, connect to the Microsoft Teams endpoint and create a session with the older Skype for Business Online endpoint used for managing policies. The cmdlets to do this are all in the latest production version of the Microsoft Teams PowerShell module.

Connect-MicrosoftTeams -Credential $O365Cred
$TeamsPolicySession = New-CsOnlineSession -Credential $O365Cred
Import-PSSession -AllowClobber $TeamsPolicySession

You can check the current situation by running the Get-CsTeamsCallingPolicy cmdlet:

Get-CsTeamsCallingPolicy | Format-Table Identity, AllowCloudRecordingForCalls

Identity                                 AllowCloudRecordingForCalls
--------                                 ---------------------------
Global                                                         False
Tag:AllowCalling                                               False
Tag:DisallowCalling                                            False
Tag:AllowCallingPreventTollBypass                              False
Tag:AllowCallingPreventForwardingtoPhone                       False

The policies prefixed with Tag: can’t be updated. These are special policies controlled by Microsoft. You can update the Global policy and any custom calling policies created by the tenant. For example:

Set-CsTeamsCallingPolicy -Identity Global -AllowCloudRecordingForCalls $True

Users not allowed to record Teams personal calls because the policy assigned to their account has AllowCloudRecordingForCalls set to False might be frustrated at the new development, but perhaps the question needs to be asked what business purpose justifies the recording of personal calls?

The Office 365 for IT Pros eBook contains lots of information about Teams calling and meetings. Subscribe to receive monthly updates about important changes like the one described here.

7 Replies to “Important! Microsoft Changes Policy for Recordings of Teams Personal (1:1) Calls”

  1. Setting it to True before it is assessed whether it is ok for the company to have such recordings doesn’t seem right.

    1. It just restores the functionality as it exists today when calls are recorded based on the meeting policy. But you have time to figure out what the policy should be in the future before December 18…

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