The G&M article Stop government staff use of instant messaging, says information watchdog (Bronskill: Nov 28 2013) reports on the Information Commissioner’s recommendations to parliament to ban instant messaging because of the significant difficuluties in storing and recovering them.
Check out the post as well as Commissioner Legault’s full report Instant messaging putting access to information at risk .
Given our state of technology, this is a techbit no-brainer that should rank right up there along with the banning of the use of outside-of-government email accounts (Hello Christy Clark – and the Ethnogate scandal (and we should be hearing more about this in a bit) – as an example.
Those email trails can indeed be pesky varmits – if they ever manage to hit the light of day – even though FOI requests initially often indicate nothing on file – (Hello PM Stephen Harper).
I’ve always been intrigued (although I’ve never inquired) with the scope of FOI access to city council politicos’ emails etc. on their mobile devices. My understanding is that the city doesn’t actually provide digital technology for the politicos but instead gives the mayor and councillors a stipend for them to rent their own technology. Are the communications on these devices accessible via a FOI request?
Maybe readers have some information on this.
Perhaps it’s time to clarify this. For instance, is there FOI access to emails (and other forms of convos) between, as an example, a developer and individual politicos over electronic devices that are at least partially-funded by the city?
What about texting and IM’ing ?
An interesting can of worms! It’ll be on my to-do list … and given the season, I’ll make sure to check it twice.