What if I share a protected document?

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This is a question I get a-lot so, especially now with the new integrated label experience. So i decided to write some lines about it.

What’s the question? Here goes:

  1. what if I protect a document using a sensitivity label and store it in a SharePoint Online library;
  2. I then either share the folder, document or site with someone;
  3. This someone is not part of the permissions for this label.

OK. First off – in this new world you should be looking at working with sensitivity labels on a container (site for example) level, as-well-as on a content level. Meaning: also look at your sharing settings and mobile accessibility when creating a secure solution.

Second: please remember that using sensitivity labels or Azure Information Protection, the content itself is protected. It does not care about the location, which is a big plus. So, don’t be surprised when sharing such a document with an unauthorized person will end up with an error message.

But how does this look like? Something like “An error has occurred”??? Let’s take a look.

For this demo I’ve created an Expertlive_NL label. It’s set to only allow people from my organisation and Motion10 to access it. Which works. Didn’t have the time to do a Lorum Ipsum though 😉




Now it’s time to share the document with someone outside of my organisation and Motion10. This works off-course.


But……. the recipient won’t be able to open the document. And the error (nearly) clearly states the reason: it’s protected.No permission

This might be something to take into consideration when developing business-2-business collaboration scenario’s. And also to take along when creating support-material for your end-users. It’s all “working-as-designed”, but not all end-users will understand….

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