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SEC and DOJ Set Sights Once More on Ephemeral Messaging and Personal Device Use

Global Investigations Review

In this article, authors Ann Sultan and Andrew Wise discuss the steps companies should take to avoid pitfalls related to their employees' use of popular ephemeral messaging platforms, in light of recent indications by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that their enforcement efforts against these types of business communications are expanding. "Companies (excepting the financial institutions covered under Section 17(a) of the Exchange Act, which need to have more stringent requirements for employees) can take certain steps now to position themselves in accordance with DOJ and SEC expectations to minimize the risk of prosecution, and in the alternative maximize remediation and cooperation credit, should misconduct be discovered. Principally, it’s a matter of understanding how employees communicate, setting boundaries, educating the workforce on those boundaries, and ensuring compliance," the authors wrote.