New admin policy and compliance controls for Google Hangouts

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Google Hangouts provides an end-to-end chat solution for Google Apps customers, allowing people within an organization to securely communicate with one another across all devices and platforms.

Google has now added two new policy options for Apps admins to give them greater control of how Hangouts chat is used in their domains, as well as introducing Google Apps Vault for Hangouts.

New chat policy options
Admins will now see two new options in the Hangouts chat settings in the Admin console, allowing them to:

  • Force Hangouts chat history to be on or off
  • Require only Hangouts chat to be used

While admins could previously default all Hangouts chat conversation history to on or off, chat participants could change this on a per-conversation basis. With this new feature, admins can ensure chat participants cannot change this setting for new conversations. This also means that participants with Hangouts chat history forced on will not be able to communicate with participants with chat history forced off.

To enforce the Hangouts chat history policy, the new Hangouts chat only option must be selected. Chat within Docs and Hangouts video calls will not be available for those customers who select the Hangouts chat only option. In addition, third party chat clients will not work with the Hangouts chat only option enabled.

Vault for Hangouts
Google Apps Vault lets you retain, archive, search, and export user data for your eDiscovery and compliance needs. With today’s launch, Google has extended Vault to support Hangouts chat history. For customers already using Vault, full chat retention for all messages will start automatically once chat history is forced on using the new setting.

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