Security and data policies for shared channels

With Slack Connect, you can share channels with external organizations you communicate with regularly. Read on to learn more about securely managing shared channels, and how each organization’s settings and policies affect them.

Note: To share a channel, every participating organization must be using one of Slack’s paid plans. If you're using the free version of Slack, learn how to upgrade your workspace.


Reviewing requests to share a channel

Approving requests to share a channel

Once an invitation to share a channel is accepted, it must be approved by someone from the organization that owns the channel with permission to manage shared channels. If the member who accepted the invitation doesn’t have permission to manage shared channels, it must also be approved by someone from their organization who does.

Before someone from the organization that owns the channel (and possibly someone from the invited organization) approves an accepted invitation, they’ll see the name of the external organization and the member who accepted the invitation. The person approving the accepted invitation can use this information to confirm that someone from their workspace or Enterprise Grid org would like to share the channel.

Denying requests to share a channel

If someone from your organization sent or accepted an invitation to share a channel, but you’re unsure about its purpose or you’re unfamiliar with the external organization, you have a few options:

  • Deny the request to share a channel.
  • Ask your members for more information if they're already working with the external organization in some capacity.
  • Contact the person from your organization who sent or accepted the invitation for clarification.

Setting permissions for managing shared channels

By default, Workspace Owners and Workspace Admins on the Standard and Plus plans, and Org Owners and Org Admins on the Enterprise Grid plan can manage shared channels. If they’d like, they can also give members this permission and allow them to approve and deny requests to share a channel.


Message and file retention

Retention settings chosen for your workspace or Enterprise Grid org will apply to the messages and files sent by members of your organization in shared channels. Anything sent by members of an external organization in shared channels will be retained or deleted based on the retention settings chosen for their workspace or Enterprise Grid org.


Message editing and deletion

Message editing and deletion settings for your workspace or Enterprise Grid org will apply to messages sent in shared channels by members of your organization. For example, an owner or admin can delete messages sent by members of their workspace in a shared channel, but not those sent by a member of an external organization. All workspaces can read content or data posted in a shared channel, but only the workspace that sends the data can edit or delete it from Slack.


Export tools and Discovery APIs

Export tools

On the Standard and Plus plans, Workspace Owners and Workspace Admins can use Standard Export to export content from public shared channels. On the Plus plan, Workspace Owners can apply to access Corporate Export to export content from all public and private shared channels, and the related direct messages (DMs) between members of external organizations.

Exports from shared channels will include messages from members of external organizations that are associated with the members’ Slack display names. However, members outside of the exporting organization will not be included in the export file’s member list.

Standard and Corporate Exports only include links to files uploaded by members of the exporting organization. If files weren’t uploaded by members of the exporting organization, the files and any associated messages will not be included as part of the export.

Discovery APIs

On the Enterprise Grid plan, Org Owners can use eDiscovery and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions for reviewing and regulating content. 

The Discovery APIs allow all organizations in the same shared channel to read content, regardless of which organization owns the channel. However, only messages and files sent by members of your organization in shared channels can be edited or deleted by the Discovery APIs. The display names of members from external organizations will not be returned via the Discovery APIs user methods. Instead, their names will be returned alongside the conversation history.

Note: If an external organization has applied custom retention settings for their workspace or Enterprise Grid org, this will impact the data that can be read in a channel or be exported.