Blocking Download Permission for Teams Meeting Recordings

Switching Storage from Stream to ODSP

Following on from the change in timing for the general switchover of Teams meeting recordings from Stream Classic to OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online (ODSP for short) to July 2021, Microsoft is leveraging SharePoint permissions to have better control access to recordings. This wasn’t possible in Stream Classic, but it is now that Teams is adopting SharePoint-based sharing.

After you switch Teams meeting recordings to ODSP, new meeting recordings are not stored in Stream. Instead:

  • Recordings for personal and group chats and personal (private) meetings are stored in the OneDrive for Business account of the user who starts the recording. This user is the owner of the recording.
  • Recordings for channel meetings are stored in the channel folder of the document library in the SharePoint team site owned by the team.

In both cases, the MP4 files for the recordings are in the Recordings folder.

No Downloads Please

In message center MC230505 (updated February 18), Microsoft makes the important clarification that the only person allowed to download a recording for a personal chat or meeting is the owner. Everyone else is assigned view-only permission to the file.

Permissions for a Teams meeting recording in OneDrive for Business
Figure 1: Permissions for a Teams meeting recording in OneDrive for Business

A change due to roll out in early April and finish in June will block users with view-only permission from downloading the file. Only those with edit access to recordings can change the permissions to allow others to download the files. The change is described in Microsoft 365 roadmap 70543. Organizations cannot override the assignment of permissions to meeting recordings or the way the permissions work.

Channel Meetings are Different

Channel meetings are treated differently. Once someone uses the Teams calendar app or the channel calendar app to create a channel meeting, the team which owns the channel becomes the owner of the event. The person who schedules the meeting can still update meeting settings, but they are not the owner.

This is important because the Microsoft 365 Groups access model which underpins Teams dictates that team members have equal access to group resources. The simplicity of the Groups membership model makes it easy to understand, but sometimes its lack of granularity is regrettable and forces change, such as the introduction of private channels in Teams to support confidential access to resources for a subset of team members. Because team members enjoy the same level of access to group resources, they have edit permission for meeting recordings stored in the document library of the SharePoint site owned by the team.

Don’t Discuss Sensitive Information in Channel Meetings

The devil is always in the detail. In this case, Microsoft recommends that organizations do not use channel meetings to discuss confidential or sensitive information. The reason why is simple: if you do, any team member can access files shared in the meeting or download the meeting recording, which is probably not what you want to happen with sensitive material.

Instead, use private meetings when you need control over who can join the meeting and who will be able to access information shared in the meeting. Recent changes to meeting settings allow precise control over who can join a meeting automatically, meaning that you can be sure that someone can’t sneak in using a meeting link shared by another participant.


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