Security and data policies for shared channels

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

Note: To share a channel, every participating organisation must be using one of Slack’s paid subscriptions. 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 organisation 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 organisation who does.

Before someone from the organisation that owns the channel (and possibly someone from the invited organisation) approves an accepted invitation, they’ll see the name of the external organisation 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.

Declining requests to share a channel

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

  • Decline a request to share a channel
  • Ask your members for more information if they're already working with the external organisation in some capacity.
  • Contact the person from your organisation 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 subscriptions, and org owners and org admins on the Enterprise Grid subscription, can manage shared channels. If they like, they can also give members this permission and allow them to approve and decline 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 organisation in shared channels. Anything sent by members of an external organisation 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 organisation. 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 organisation. 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 subscriptions, workspace owners and workspace admins can useStandard Export to export content from public shared channels. On the Plus subscription, 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 organisations.

Exports from shared channels will include messages from members of external organisations that are associated with the members’ Slack display names. However, members outside the exporting organisation 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 organisation. If files weren’t uploaded by members of the exporting organisation, the files and any associated messages will not be included as part of the export.

Discovery APIs

On the Enterprise Grid subscription, org owners can use e-discovery and data loss prevention (DLP) solutions for reviewing and regulating content. 

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

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