This is a reminder that personal chats within Microsoft Teams should NEVER be used to store essential business data.
This follows a report in The Register that, due to a policy being mis-applied globally instead of individually, KPMG staff mistakenly had their personal chat histories irrevocably erased.
Only personal chats were lost according to the article, not chats conducted as part of a Teams meeting or Teams channel, and not any files uploaded to personal chat threads. Although the circumstances that caused this issue are highly specific, and our processes make it unlikely that it would be repeated at the University, unfortunate accidents and mis-clicks can happen to anyone in any organisation at any time. It is never wise to be complacent.
For this reason it is important to set user expectations that personal chat data should be treated as ephemeral, rather than permanent: there are limited options to recover it.