Call recording is a complicated and sometimes controversial practice. It is the prerogative of business owners to comply with all relevant regulations and industry standards. Accomplishing this task requires background research about which laws apply to particular businesses.
Call recording law encompasses a variety of call recording functions. These include, but are not limited to, issues of participant consent, regulations about the storage of recordings and the legality of pausing and resuming live recordings.
In order to investigate which call recording laws apply to a certain call center, numerous agencies and resources must be checked. Articles and blog posts like this one can be tremendously useful, but should not be taken as a doctrine. Rather, companies must consider a number of sources before putting call recording practices into place.
Call recording in Salesmate
The call recording feature in Salesmate CRM allows you to keep records of your phone calls with contacts to make follow-up calls easier and keep your team up-to-date. The information below is designed to provide you with guidelines about some things you'll need to consider when recording calls; however, Salesmate always recommends you speak with your legal team to make sure you've got everything covered.
Some states require more than one party's consent to record a call. In these cases, you'll need to make sure that everyone involved consents before starting to record a call. Salesmate's Phone number settings allow you to turn OFF / ON call recording for each number you have purchased. You can even choose to disable call recording during a call. We also advise you to configure your welcome message to include relevant information about call recording if you have turned it ON. However, because Salesmate can't be sure where your contact is actually located when you call them (especially since the world relies so heavily on mobile devices), it's good practice to get consent where there's any uncertainty or to consider making it a policy to always ask for consent.
United States (U.S.)
In the majority of U.S. states, you'll only need consent from one of the people participating in a call in order to record it (this is often referred to as "one-party consent"). Since you're opting to record the call you're placing, and presumably, you consent to your own recording of the call, you won't need to do anything else to comply with the laws of those types of states.
However, approximately 13 states have chosen to require all parties' consent (sometimes called "two-party consent") in order to record the call. These states are currently California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington State.
For more general information on the subject, you might want to take a look at Wikipedia's page on telephone recording laws or the Digital Media Law Project's article on some of the basics of state recording laws.
United Kingdom (U.K.)
Several laws govern the practice of recording calls in the United Kingdom (U.K.). Unless you can guarantee that the call won't be shared with any third parties and is being recorded to either gather evidence, ensure regulatory compliance, or prevent crime, it's best to think of the U.K. as an "all-parties' consent" jurisdiction.
Irish law is pretty clear: to record calls, you must obtain consent, so Ireland joins the U.K. and 13 U.S. states as an "all-parties' consent" jurisdiction. Irish law makes clear that the purpose of the recording should be explained in detail, so the parties participating can give informed consent.
You can read more about Ireland's approach to call recording at the end of the Data Protection Commissioner's FAQ page.
Like Ireland, Canada has established a single set of rules for call recording, built into its electronic privacy law (PIPEDA).
Joining the other countries and states mentioned above, Canada has adopted an "all-parties' consent" approach: to record a call, you need to obtain informed consent by notifying others on the call (1) that you intend to record the conversation, (2) any purposes the recording will be used for, and (3) that the call may only be recorded with each person's consent.
For more details on Canada's approach, you can take a look at the Privacy Commissioner's Guidelines for Recording Customer Calls.
Rest of the world
While this article has chosen to highlight certain countries above, it's by no means an exhaustive list. Before making a call to a country, Salesmate recommends making sure that you and your legal team have an understanding of any regulations there, and always obtain consent if you're in doubt.
List of resources:
- FCC – Guide to Recording Telephone Conversations
- Digital Media Law Project – Practical Tips for Recording Phone Calls, Conversations, Meetings, and Hearings
- Privacy Rights Clearinghouse – Fact Sheet 9: Wiretapping and Eavesdropping on Telephone Calls
- Cornell Legal Information Institute – 18 U.S. Code 2511 – Interception and disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communications prohibited
- Reporters Committee For Freedom of the Press – Reporter’s Recording Guide
- Justia US Law – A searchable compilation of US laws
Disclaimer: While every reasonable effort was made to ensure that the above information is accurate, Salesmate does not guarantee that this article is accurate and up-to-date. Salesmate does not accept responsibility for any loss, damage or legal action incurred by your company as a result of the information contained in this article.