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Does Slack Track Your Activity and Location?

Last updated: February 8, 2024 8 min read
Does Slack Track Your Activity and Location

In a time when working remotely is the norm, questions are raised regarding Slack’s data collection policies. This article peels back the layers of privacy in the virtual office by examining whether Slack records your location and behavior. Learn the real story behind the screen and take control of your online presence on this popular communication channel.

Slack is among the most effective platforms for productivity and communication that small businesses and large corporations utilize. It records some of your online activities and can determine your exact location when you use the site, much like many other online services. Furthermore, since this data is time-stamped, you can determine when it was created or changed.

This article provides everything about what Slack monitors, including your behavior, how much time you spend on Slack, information about employee tracking, the general atmosphere of Slack workplaces, the contents of your conversations, and what your IP address has to do with this. Find out what information Slack logs and how to use its services with more privacy. Keep reading as we talk about Slack logging, including how it’s processed, saved, and retrieved for your usage.

Evolution of Slack

Tiny Speck, a private game studio, suffered a setback in 2011 when Glitch, an MMO (Massively multiplayer online game), failed to take off. However, the team created an instant messenger to facilitate online communication during development. Stewart Butterfield, the co-founder, saw its potential and shifted his focus in 2012 by abandoning Glitch for what would be Slack.

Slack initially intended to provide a complete answer to dispersed communication, and several organizations conducted beta testing. Meetings, email exchanges, and phone conversations may be easily coordinated inside a single application, saving time and effort.

In February 2014, after twelve months of testing, Slack went live. It was instantly successful. Positive reviews and early adoption by media organizations helped the app gain traction through word-of-mouth. The site has an astounding 10+ million active users daily as of 2023.

Does Slack Track Your Location?

One may wonder, “Can Slack track my location?” To answer briefly, Yes, it can. Slack keeps track of information that lets the app determine where you are. The platform typically obtains your IP from your web browser and recognizes the business address that your company has given. The owner may also monitor the workspace’s activity by monitoring the team members’ access records, including their IP addresses. According to Slack, location recording enables more efficient localization procedures and an improved user experience. But, if your location data was ever compromised, hackers could use your IP to initiate harmful attacks or interfere with your device’s functionality.

Does Slack Track Your Activity?

Like many other online services, Slack gathers data about your online activities. Slack says that logging your activities is mostly done for user experience enhancement. For example, it employs internet cookies as many other sites do. By doing that, Slack considers your settings and language choices and ensures you stay signed in when using the program. However, user behavior may also be tracked via cookies, which occasionally results in profiling rather than better services. Any online platform, including Slack, requires you to understand what information you agree to give when you use it.

What Else Does Slack Log?

Location and cookies are not the sole types of data that Slack collects. The platform logs a far greater variety of data about you, your online activities, and the devices you use. While obtaining this data could enable Slack to better customize its services to what you want, remember that giving too much of your personal information could also pose a security risk. Additional categories of data that Slack gathers about you are described below:

Account and Customer Data

Your phone number, email address, and other account credentials that are all logged in are required to create a Slack profile or a specific workplace. Also, Slack stores users’ financial information with a paid subscription to the platform and any contact data you decide to integrate, such as a calendar or address book. Data you regularly enter into Slack while using the site is stored among the information logged. Usually, it consists of files, messages, and other items you post to Slack.

Analytics

You can get analytical data on your general Slack use, channels, and members in Slack’s dedicated analytics area. It records the influx and outflow of messages, including files shared, messages sent, Slack storage utilized, and the number of active participants weekly or daily. The most advantageous feature is that your Slack workplace has a comprehensive analytics dashboard. It means you can view the data as graphs and charts, making it easier to consume the information visually. Also, you may export this data.

Service Metadata

Every time you use Slack, it records the metadata showing how you use the app and what you do there. For example, Slack records data on users, channels, workspaces, files, other services you utilize, and other files and links you engage with. Also, Slack records and saves metadata from the platform’s audio and video capabilities, such as Slack Clips and Huddles.

Device Information

When you connect to Slack, it records information about the device you use. It records your settings, the operating system that your device is running on, the program IDs, crash data of the device, and unique identifiers. The device and its configuration determine how much of this data is gathered.

Log Data

In addition to recording your IP address, Slack could also collect data about the sites you visited before using Slack, the kind of browser you use, and any plugins, settings, and customizations it has. The website keeps note of your preferred language as well as the day and time you utilize it.

Third-party Service Information

To enable integration, Slack requires most third-party applications (such as cloud storage apps) you wish to utilize to share some of your data with the platform. For instance, Slack may need to disclose your login or email address associated with the cloud account. You should always check their privacy settings to find out what information a third-party service provider will share with Slack after integration. Visit Slack’s privacy policy website to learn how the company gathers and uses your data.

How to Stop Slack from Tracking You?

You may disguise your IP address to prevent Slack from monitoring your online activities, even if you cannot stop the platform from tracking your virtual location. Using a trusted and secure VPN like ExtremeVPN is one of the simplest and easiest ways to do it.

When connected to an ExtremeVPN server, your internet traffic is redirected via a distant server, which may be situated anywhere globally. In this manner, the IP address of the VPN server takes the place of your actual one, keeping Slack and other outside parties from knowing it. Also, ExtremeVPN hides data from prying eyes by encrypting it while it is in transit between your device and the server by passing it through its secure tunnels.

How Bosses Use Slack to Track Workday

Without sophisticated surveillance equipment, your boss may already have a decent picture of your day at work. Commonplace programs like Slack, Zoom, and MS Office can provide details about your online actions.

How frequently do you actively participate in video meetings, and how often do you communicate online with your coworkers? These may be seen on Slack. Not only that, but it also shows how many documents you save in the cloud. Therefore, while utilizing these technologies makes work easier, you should be mindful that your online activity leaves traces of your daily work life.

How to Take Better Control of Your Slack Data

Now that we know how Slack tracks you, let’s discuss what you can do about it. Some of Slack’s user data is controllable if you navigate to the settings. Regretfully, there’s no way to prevent Slack from monitoring your activities while you use the service. Data collecting is one of the main components of delivering essential services within the app. Still, the Slack app allows you to set up a few privacy preferences:

  1. Go to “Your Profile.”
  2. Navigate to “Preferences.”
  3. Click on “Visibility & Privacy.”
  4. Adjust the settings to reflect your desired level of privacy. 

Conclusion

In a nutshell, Slack tracks user activity, including location data and other details about platform interactions. Users should be conscious of the data-collecting policies in place and consider their privacy choices when utilizing Slack. The fundamental problem is that Slack monitoring is under the control of your organization. Put simply, if you go by Slack’s policies and standards, your supervisor can view the messages you send them. It might occur at any time, depending on the circumstances, and it could or might not notify you beforehand. It’s always wise to use a robust VPN service like ExtremeVPN for your privacy. Refrain from gossiping, stick to business-related subjects on Slack, and never type something you wouldn’t want other people to see.

FAQs

Can admins view Slack’s private messages? Up
No, administrators and your supervisor are unable to see your private messages. They cannot even use special admin tools to examine the files and communications you share in the private channels.
Are Slack communications visible to managers? Up
Your supervisor can download and export your private communications into zip files (JSON files), even if they are not visible to them when you send them.
How can I view my whole Slack chat history? Up
To view the chat history, open the Slack workspace you wish to visit. Click in the upper left corner, then select “Settings & administration.” To access the whole conversation history, choose “Workspace settings” and “Retention & Exports.”
How can I find out who is checking my messages on Slack? Up
Slack cannot determine whether a user has read a message since it does not employ read receipts. However, Slack indicates if you have read messages, making remembering what you have and haven’t easier. 

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About the Author

Olivia is a cybersecurity enthusiast and passionate writer eager to teach everyone how to stay safe ...
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