Microsoft Admins – can you force open view access to calendars through outlook?

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  • Microsoft Admins – can you force open view access to calendars through outlook?
  • Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Subscriber

    Can you set defaults that can’t be changed by the user to make calendar entries openly visible by default? Obvs you could still have private appointments, but is full disclosure of other entries by default doable?

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Subscriber

    Hmm never done this myself but Google suggests a PS script is easy enough to mass update the calendar sharing permissions but I can’t see anything to change the default when sharing (to reviewer or whatever). You could script mass-updating to run on a schedule I guess but fairly clunky.

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Subscriber

    Thanks Fuzzy – some more digging required.

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Subscriber

    It’s usually done by setting permissions for the “Default” user (which is any authenticated user in the org) on the calendar.

    The end user always has rights to view and change the permissions on their mailbox so could reverse an admin setting this.

    Places I’ve worked that had a “everyone can see free/busy and subject” policy just had a powershell script that ran daily and set it on every mailbox.

    IA
    Member

    I’ve looked for this before for a 365 org, didn’t seem to be any way other than PS scripts to force it. Would also be interested in a solution though.

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Subscriber

    TBH, it’s trying to apply a technical fix where serious behavioural and cultural issues exist and should be addressed directly. Still, I think it’s got to be worth a punt.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Not something I’ve ever tried to do, but it sounds a remarkably bad idea to me. Think I’ll just pop over and have a nosey at the CEO’s diary… oh, he’s meeting with prospective buyers of the company next week, is he?

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    … also, potential for GDPR issues, maybe? (I can’t immediately think of how, but people can be very creative.)

    Premier Icon hot_fiat
    Subscriber

    It’s usually common to set it so that everyone can see free/busy info, not appointment details. We have to do this prior to migration, but we have some internal dodgy Russian developed apis that we exploit with our tools to keep it in place.

    Edit: You won’t come up against GDPR issues with uk staff, but woe betide you if you touch German, Luxembourgoise or worse, Swiss staff’s mailboxes.

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Subscriber

    Think I’ll just pop over and have a nosey at the CEO’s diary… oh, he’s meeting with prospective buyers of the company next week, is he?

    Obvs you could still have private appointments

    This is about making it easier for people to talk to each other – no I’m not talking about more formal meetings, but being able to either pick up the phone or wander over to a different part of the estate to have a face to face conversation, without worrying if the person is otherwise engaged.

    And there are unlikely to be any GDPR issues that we aren’t already aware of.

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Subscriber

    but being able to either pick up the phone or wander over to a different part of the estate to have a face to face conversation, without worrying if the person is otherwise engaged.

    Don’t people use Lync / Skype for this?

    Premier Icon jimmy
    Subscriber

    but woe betide you if you touch German

    6 years later we still can’t give the Germans Lync/Skype because it could be misused to show that an employee has been away from their desk for 5 minutes and that’s an abuse of their freedom.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Obvs you could still have private appointments

    “Default.” I think you overestimate people.

    In any case, you can share calendars in a manner which just shows free / busy without any additional detail (but that’s not what you asked for in the OP).

    This is about making it easier for people to talk to each other

    In which case, what @jimdubleyou said. Messaging aside, Skype for Business provides presence indicators (and is directly linked to the calendar so can change to ‘busy’ automatically when you have a meeting). It pops up next to their addresses in emails and everything.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    we still can’t give the Germans Lync/Skype because it could be misused to show that an employee has been away from their desk for 5 minutes and that’s an abuse of their freedom.

    You can change this behaviour, it’s in Options / Status. I’d be shocked if you couldn’t do this office-wide via Group Policy.

    Doesn’t matter if it’s technically possible. German companies have Workers Councils, and these sorts of changes have to be approved by them. At least in my interactions with them anyway – where we also have had to disable chat and presence indicators.

    Premier Icon hot_fiat
    Subscriber

    Yep a German mailbox belongs to the employee, not the business and the works council will haul you and the business over the coals if you do anything to interfere with it. Swiss mailboxes are a bit different as they have rules about visibility of data outside of CH and a general blanket ban on anyone outside of Ch managing that data. They can often have separate exchange orgs, domains or heavily partitioned AD trees with LOM enabled.

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