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New FTC and DOJ Guidance on Ephemeral Messaging: Mitigating Regulatory Risks, Ensuring Compliance

Failure to Preserve Short-Lived Communications Can Result in Criminal Liability and Civil Sanctions

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, April 18, 2024

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will discuss the new guidance released by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding a company's obligation to preserve ephemeral messages from corporate collaboration tools. The panel will highlight key issues for corporate counsel to consider when advising clients in this area and best practices for mitigating risks and ensuring compliance.


Recently, the FTC and DOJ's Antitrust Division released updated guidance regarding how parties in enforcement and investigative matters must preserve ESI from collaboration tools and ephemeral messaging platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Chat, and Signal. The new guidance is aimed at counteracting settings that allow or automatically enable immediate and irretrievable destruction of communications and documents that may ultimately be responsive to the FTC's or the Antitrust Division's investigative requests.

The FTC and DOJ emphasized that the new guidance simply reinforces an organization's longstanding and existing preservation obligations. However, the new guidance warrants careful attention and organizations need to take appropriate steps to ensure data preservation because failure to do so can have significant repercussions including the potential for criminal obstruction of justice charges and civil discovery sanctions.

To minimize the potential for legal and regulatory risks, organizations using ephemeral messaging and collaboration tools need to take a proactive approach to implement policies and procedures that align with their particular needs and perceived risks. Some actions organizations and their counsel should consider include reviewing the organization's data retention policies, establishing legal hold protocols for relevant ESI repositories, evaluating the risks associated with various messaging platforms currently in use, and developing employee training and periodic auditing to ensure compliance with policies.

Listen as our authoritative panel addresses the new regulatory guidance concerning preservation of ephemeral messaging data and provides best practices for developing policies and procedures to improve corporate governance while also addressing a company's legal and regulatory risks.



  1. Overview of the FTC's and DOJ's new guidance
  2. Consequences for noncompliance: criminal liability and civil sanctions
  3. Key considerations for effective compliance
    1. Data retention policies
    2. Legal hold protocol
    3. Messaging applications and usage
    4. Employee training and auditing
  4. Additional factors to consider regarding data retention: privacy laws
  5. Key takeaways


The panel will address these and other important issues:

  • What are the key takeaways regarding the FTC's and DOJ's updated guidance?
  • What are the critical and challenging legal and regulatory compliance issues with ephemeral messaging platforms?
  • What are best practices for handling ephemeral messages in light of the new guidance and increased scrutiny of an organization's efforts to comply with its preservation obligations?


Gold, Daniel
Daniel Gold, Esq.

Principal, E-Discovery Managed Services Leader

Mr. Gold has nearly 20 years of experience in the legal space. His experience in e-discovery technical consulting,...  |  Read More

Hart, Kevin
Kevin B. Hart

Jones Day

As a former senior official at the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Mr. Hart has nearly 25 years...  |  Read More

McGovern, Kathleen
Kathleen McGovern

Squire Patton Boggs

Ms. McGovern is a government investigations and white collar lawyer who advises clients regarding their most sensitive...  |  Read More

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