Teams transcripts are not currently available in M365 Content Search, eDiscovery or via the Graph API. As previously blogged about, Microsoft is busy consolidating the Microsoft 365 architecture to improve search and other functionality. There are obvious issues with working on the car while your customers are driving it, even when it is the most efficient solution. As of October 2020, the default Teams video storage location moved from Streams to OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online depending on where the meeting was launched from. While the videos are accessible and affected by holds/searches, the associated, searchable transcripts have not yet been migrated to their ultimate repository as far as I can verify. Microsoft moved quickly to provide new live transcription functionality, but those transcripts are only available via manual download from Teams under the Recordings & Transcripts tab within the Teams calendar app.

Why should you care?

Your legal holds should prevent the calendar item and associated video recording from being deleted. Your collections via M365 eDiscovery, AED or 3rd party tool using the Graph API will not get keyword hits from meeting transcripts or retrieve them along with the recordings. Given the Teams/Zoom overload during the pandemic, it is not unlikely that a lot of potentially relevant discussions might reside in those transcripts.

How do you work around this?

  1. The old-fashioned solution is to export a list of all Teams recordings and use an admin account to open each one and manually download either the MSWord or the VTT format transcript. That is practical for a reasonable volume based on time frames, attendees and calendar title or notes.
  2. There are numerous tools/apps that will generate transcripts from uploaded bulk recordings. The automated transcript quality from services like Otter.ai and others has gotten pretty good.
  3. Your eDiscovery platform or provider may have this feature. It is worth verifying that the transcription was run and that they are properly associated back to the calendar/recording records.

Issues like this are a fact of life in our cloud SaaS world of continuous development. If you determine that you have relied on M365 search and inadvertently made incomplete productions, I recommend immediate and full disclosure with a remediation plan. I have had to write a few of these declarations for clients trying to explain similar ‘Microsoft ate my homework’ scenarios. Documented eDiscovery protocols and reasonable QC efforts will go a long way to assure the bench that you were not trying to hide evidence.

Greg Buckles wants your feedback, questions or project inquiries at Greg@eDJGroupInc.com. Contact him directly for a free 15 minute ‘Good Karma’ call. He solves problems and creates eDiscovery solutions for enterprise and law firm clients.

Greg’s blog perspectives are personal opinions and should not be interpreted as a professional judgment or advice. Greg is no longer a journalist and all perspectives are based on best public information. Blog content is neither approved nor reviewed by any providers prior to being posted. Do you want to share your own perspective? Greg is looking for practical, professional informative perspectives free of marketing fluff, hidden agendas or personal/product bias. Outside blogs will clearly indicate the author, company and any relevant affiliations. 

 

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