Call Recording: What Is and Isn’t Legal

By Maya Franklin
Call recording is a useful tool for businesses looking to collect information for improving customer service or building training materials. For some organizations, recording calls is a legal requirement for conducting business. But, no matter what, all calls must be recorded in compliance with the local laws of each party involved.This means that you’ll need to know the laws in the jurisdiction where you’re calling from and where the call is being received. But, laws vary from country to country and even state to state. Find best practices below to help keep you out of trouble. # Call recording laws
Call recording laws generally break down into two categories: one-party consent and two-party consent.
As the name implies, one-party consent means that at least one person in the call must consent to be recorded. If you’re one of the people speaking on the call and also recording it, this meets the criteria for one party consent. If the call is being recorded by a third party who’s not speaking on the call, they must ask and obtain consent from at least one person in the conversation before recording.
Two-party consent is also sometimes called “all-party consent.” Two-party consent means that everybody who’s being recorded on the call must give consent to be recorded. If one person speaking on the call is also recording it, they must inform the other person on the call that it’s being recorded before continuing in order to meet the requirements for two-party consent.

Call recording laws by country

Below are some guidelines to call recording laws in commonly called regions. You should investigate the regulations in local areas that you call independently, but the information below can serve to get you started.

United States

Call recording in the U.S. is governed by state call recording laws. Most states only require one-party consent. However, these states require two-party consent: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington.

Europe and UK

There is some variation between countries and some regions have specific exceptions carved out, but a majority of the European and UK call recording laws require two-party consent.

Canada

Canadian call recording law requires all-party consent, with some additional requirements. All parties who are being recorded must be informed that they’re being recorded, what the purpose of recording the call is (all purposes must be divulged here—stating one purpose such as quality assurance makes it legal to use the recording ONLY for quality assurance), and the organization must provide meaningful alternatives if any person on the call objects to being recorded.

Australia

Australian call recording law varies by territory, but Australia should be treated as a two-party consent country. Additionally, callers must be given clear opportunity to end the call or ask to be transferred to an unrecorded call, if one is available.

Conclusion

As a general rule for any company making interstate or international calls, following two-party consent laws is the best practice that will ensure you’re following all the laws that apply to the call.Fortunately, many CRM systems have built-in functionality to prompt employees to ask for consent before proceeding with the call if the phone number has an area or country code for a jurisdiction that requires two-party consent.

About Telnyx
[Telnyx] delivers voice, messaging, and more for applications and next-generation communications companies. Telnyx delivers native cloud recording that enables businesses to control every aspect of call recording through a point-and-click Mission Control portal. Telnyx offers tools for splitting recorded calls into multiple recordings and starting recordings based on call events such as call ringing or call answered. Contact our customer success team to learn more.
*Please note that Telnyx is providing this information only as a courtesy, and this does not constitute the provision of legal advice. This information should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a licensed attorney with appropriate expertise and authorization to practice in your jurisdiction. Telnyx is not in a position to interpret any laws, rules, or regulations on behalf of its customers or other third parties. You should consult with your legal advisors to ensure that your use of Telnyx services is compliant with all applicable laws, regulations, and requirements.