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US Regulators Increase Enforcement for Text Communications

Financial firms were still in court with their regulators in the early 2000s over their responsibility to keep email interactions as business records. We’re all aware of the outcome of the skirmish. Today, in a trend that has been building for some time but has been exacerbated by the realities of work from home brought to light by the COVID-19 outbreak, U.S. authorities and financial institutions are once again battling over record-keeping duties, this time over text and chat apps.

Indeed, investigatory and enforcement activities in the United States are increasingly focusing on ensuring that corporations track, manage, and archive business-related employee Communications, including text and chat discussions on personal devices. Workers have been increasing their professional use of text messaging and chat programmes for some time, but especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when away from traditional office settings.

Regulators are focusing on how corporations manage data as a result of this new reality in Communications methods. Certain business Communications, such as phone calls and emails, are required to be recorded by financial organisations such as banks. This requirement has traditionally been limited to work gadgets.

The use of unapproved Communications channels that are not subject to corporate retention policies, such as personal email accounts, text messaging, or mobile apps, has been prohibited by company policy in an attempt to keep the line between work and personal devices. This strategy has been consistent with the processes and technologies in place to support record-keeping duties, many of which have centred on corporate email and voice interactions.

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