WhatsApp Archiving: What Companies Should Know About the Revised FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy?

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The US Department of Justice has modified the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Corporate Enforcement Policy to no longer ban the use of ephemeral messaging applications like WhatsApp for business-related communications.  Employees can now freely use WhatsApp and other software like it for business matters as long as companies can retain records of business communications.

Many companies, however, struggle to adapt to the US Department of Justice’s shift regarding instant messaging using ephemeral software.

Why The Policy Was Adjusted

The Policy initially banned the use of ephemeral messaging software for business-related messaging since they cannot effectively retain business records, which would lead to compliance issues. Retaining business records allow for government investigation if any suspected foreign bribery violations occur. Keeping records of the communication regarding the event entitles the company in question for eligibility for reduced fines.

The US Department of Justice recognized that many employees use mobile apps like WhatsApp and other similar software to conduct business-related communications as well as personal ones, which resulted in the softening of its stance regarding such applications. Such use of disappearing-message platforms is routine in the modern business context.

Corporations are now responsible for finding ways to capture and record WhatsApp chats, including the use of modern solutions that are also capable of archiving other mobile content such as text messages.

Employees Are No Longer Prohibited From Using Software That Doesn’t Save Records

The ban on using WhatsApp and similar software for business communications mandated by the Department of Justice’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Corporate Enforcement Policy was lifted. Compliance with the policy has not changed, though, and record retention still defines acceptable compliance.

As long as employees aren’t violating any company policies, they can use instant messaging software within the company both for personal and business communications. The freedom granted to the employees may seem to be in contrast to the DOJ’s FCPA, but its purpose was to let companies identify the risks of using such software and develop controls regarding them.

It Is The Companies’ Responsibility To Implement Controls On Archiving WhatsApp

Thanks to the open-ended stance of the DOJ, companies are currently struggling with how to comply with the policy since it falls on them to develop ways to control the use of disappearing-message software and to archive sensitive business-related communications.

Corporations can still choose to limit the use of such channels, initiate carefully crafted BYOD policies for allowing access to records, and issue company devices ensuring that company policies will enable access to business communications while being respectful of relevant employment and data privacy laws.

The Department of Justice stated that the requirement to retain business records and communications is a step expected of companies to take when addressing any arising FCPA problem. Fortunately, companies won’t have to struggle regarding compliance, thanks to TeleMessage.

TeleMessage’s WhatsApp Archiver is a unique platform tailor-made to solve compliance and regulation issues by allowing firms to capture and archive WhatsApp messages.  TeleMessage has a list of supported regulations from various geographies that assures no compliance issues will occur when using the WhatsApp Archiver.

This platform works exactly like the standard WhatsApp application, ensuring that your employees will still be able to send work-related communications easily and quickly.

The benefits of using WhatsApp Archiver in your business include:

  • Archive all WhatsApp communications
  • Use WhatsApp to communicate with customers, employees, and stakeholders
  • Search, track and retrieve WhatsApp messages in the corporate archive
  • Deposit WhatsApp messages with any email archiving vendor
  • Full administration and reporting

The TeleMessage WhatsApp Archiver is the latest addition to our mobile archiving solution that securely captures content from mobile carriers and mobile devices for a variety of ownership models (BYOD, CYOD, and employer-issued). With our multiple archiving methods, you can always find the right tools or blend for your requirements:

TeleMessage offers cross-carrier and international mobile text & calls archiving for corporate and BYOD phones.  Contact us today to learn more about our mobile archiving products.

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