Voicemail Confidentiality

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Aug 29th, 2000
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I have a customer who is curious about sending confidential voicemails. The scenario is that they want to send a private or confidential voicemail and ensure that the recipient can't forward that message to certain people or people not on some approved list. Apparently their former voicemail was able to accomplish this task.<br><br>My thought on this is that since Unity is beholden to Exchange, the answer is probably based on the functionality of exchange. Most Exchange environments are usually wide open so you can send your email to anyone inside or outside the organization although you could restrict this. So my guess is that whatever voicemails I receive, I can send to anyone as long as I am not restricted by Exchange. Is this accurate and does Active Voice have any future plans to make it so you can mark a message as private or confidential and remove the ability to forward it?<br><br>

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Anonymous (not verified) Wed, 08/30/2000 - 00:51
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In short, you’re mostly correct. We rely on Exchange conventions both for marking messages private and in addressing messages. However we do deviate from the conventions of the Outlook client at the desktop a bit.

You can mark voice messages private (or urgent, or set delivery receipt) when you address a message over the phone. A recipient of that message will not have the option to forward the message. If they hit “5” in the after message menu (for forwarding) they will hear “sorry, that is not a valid option for this message”. You can still reply, of course.

If you sent the voice mail from the desktop client, you have the option of marking it private, personal or confidential. We only restrict forwarding over the phone for private messages. If it’s marked personal or confidential, the forwarding option will be available.

From the desktop, however, Outlook doesn’t restrict forwarding at all, regardless of the message settings. I just tried this on Outlook2000 just to be sure and it hasn’t changed. If you mark a message personal, private or confidential, when you open the message at the desktop is just has a yellow line at the top which says ‘please treat as confidential’ (or private or personal). You are still allowed to forward the message at will. Since we ride on top of the Outlook email form, we inherit the same functionality for the desktop behavior so we don’t have any control over this. If someone knows of a snappy way to make Outlook enforce this, I’m all ears but from what I can tell there’s no way to make this happen.

As for addressing messages (or forwarding them in this case)… You can address a message over the phone to any other voice mail subscriber in your local exchange site that’s associated with your location (i.e. that’s being serviced by the same Unity server you’re on) and other users at other locations (potentially in other Exchange sites) if you’ve purchased the digital networking package.

There’s no easy way to restrict which users you can or can’t address or forward messages to in that group however. For private messages it’s an all or nothing thing over the phone… you either can forward it or you can’t. There aren’t any plans at this point to add any functionality to define which users a message can or can’t be forwarded to. I’ve never heard of that feature, I’m not real sure why it’d be desirable to let them forward it to a select group of folks. If you feel it’s something we should consider adding, go ahead and pop a message off to "[email protected]".


Jeff Lindborg
[email protected]
http://members.home.net/jlindborg

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