Many of our financial clients have set up Supervisory Policies that allow FINRA registered employees to use Zoom for video but not to use Zoom’s chat feature. This addresses the concern that written communication is required to be retained in accordance with SEC Rule 17a-4.
However, the question is how can a financial institution ‘prove’ that there are not chats that are occurring? This is of special concern as Zoom only retains meeting content for a relatively short period of time.
Our clients use DataParser for Zoom which allows any chat content to be collected and then flagged in a Supervisory platform. The Compliance team may then reach out to the employee and remind them of the supervisory policy that excludes the use of the chat feature.
Whether Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Salesforce Slack, Cisco Webex, Fuze or other on-line collaboration platform, each has a complex set of features and functionality. Some of these features are compliance content (i.e. chats and shared documents) and other content is does regulated and required to be archived. Determining how best to implement these platforms involves corporate policies which are effectively communicated to registered employees, administrative settings on the platform itself and monitoring systems which monitor for inappropriate use and then may be flagged. These combinations will be different for each of the platforms.
It is important to recognize that these collaborative platforms are competing for market share and features are introduced without addressing regulatory or compliance concerns. For instance, the Whiteboard feature, a popular feature in meetings, for some platforms cannot be captured and should be turned off as an administrative setting.
“Thankfully,” offers Douglas Weeden, Director of Compliance Services, “these platforms have emerged during the past two years and have allowed us, during Covid, to interact with our clients and colleagues. They are powerful platforms that enable the remote work environment. However, they continue to evolve with new features and capture capabilities and one of the services we provide to our clients to is keep their compliance and IT teams up to date with changes that may impact the retention of regulatory content.”