Call Recording: What Is and Isn’t Legal
Articles - 3 min read

Call Recording: What Is and Isn’t Legal

Find out which regulations you should be following in order to stay compliant with call recording laws.
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.
You can read more general info on the subject by visiting Wikipedia’s page on Telephone Recording Laws.

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.
You can learn more about Canada’s approach to recording calls by reading the Privacy Commissioner’s Guidelines for Recording Customer Calls.

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.

Call recording frequently asked questions

What is call recording?

Call recording is the ability to record an active call or conference call. Recordings can then be stored for playback later or to generate a transcription.

Does Telnyx offer call recording?

Yes, Telnyx offers call recording as a feature on our voice API, Call Control. You can take a look at our developer docs for more information about how to use call recording on Telnyx.

How do I get started using call recording?

To get started, signup for a free Telnyx portal account, then follow the steps in our Call Control quickstart guide.

What’s the cost for recording calls?

Call recording starts at just $0.002, with free storage. You can find the latest pricing information here.

What are the most common call recording use-cases?

Call Tracking and contact center applications typically record calls and store them to review later for training and compliance purposes.

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 an easy-to-use Mission Control portal and API.
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.
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