Although many people dispute its usefulness, call recording is beneficial for businesses and clients alike. Companies can use recorded calls for many purposes – such as quality assurance, employee training or performance evaluation – while customers can utilize these recordings as a protective shield should a dispute occur.
However, regardless of how the call is being recorded, call centers should always comply with the call recording laws of the country or state that they are physically located in. The problem is that the more states a business operates in, the more laws it has to follow – and this applies to foreign countries, too…
Lawful Call Recording in the U.S.
Consent to Being Recorded
The federal law clearly states that call recording is strictly prohibited except for category of business telephone calls, which is the act of recording calls for employee monitoring from devices owned by the employer. The only other instance when calls are allowed to be recorded is when the caller provides consent to being recorded. However, consent is only deemed legally obtained when:
- Both parties agree in oral or written form to being recorded.
- The caller is warned verbally by the recording party ahead of the recording taking place.
- An electronic beep is played at regular intervals during recording.
Another important thing to note is how many parties have to be informed before call recording can commence. Most states in the U.S. only require a single party to give permission, but there are 13 states in which both parties of a phone conversation have to first be asked.
The Proper Way of Obtaining Consent
It’s important to note, however, that if the company receives calls from the European Union then the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is applied. In these cases companies must display a separate and clearly understandable policy on their website that outlines what happens and why during call recording, as well as how callers can give or decline their consent.
Call Recording Rules Elsewhere
Although it’s virtually impossible to list the call recording rules of every country in the world, just to be sure it’s best to be aware about some of the most important and most interesting laws:
Canadian rules regarding call recording are almost the same as those in the U.S. but with some interesting differences. One major difference is that consent for call recording can be deemed legally obtained if customers are clearly informed on monthly statements. Another difference the objection to call recording, in which case businesses have to provide callers with alternative contact methods.
In the UK calls can be recorded if both parties of the conversation consent to it, but is strictly forbidden if it’s a private conversation initiated by an employee from within the business’s phone system. However, in special cases – such as providing evidence for a business transaction or protecting national security – neither party needs to be informed about being recorded at all.
The call recording laws in Australia are basically the same as in the U.S. even down to the fact that it depends on the particular territory of the call taking place as to whether one party is enough to give permission for recording the call or both participants’ consent is required to proceed. However, unlike in the U.S., most territories in Australia comply with the two-party consent law.
Rest of the World
Most of the time a country’s call recording laws are similar to that of those mentioned here, but there are special instances – like Italy and Sweden – where call recordings are deemed as valid evidence in court even if obtained illegally and without the prior consent of all parties.
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