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U.S. and International Call Recording and Notification Laws

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Learn when and how you can record VoIP, analog and digital/TDM calls

When considering deploying an on-demand or a full-time call recording solution in your enterprise, it helps to know the laws in your country or state before you commence recording. Many countries mandate that you notify the party or parties in question that the call is being recorded. Some of the main regulations follow but please note that call recording notification legislation is prone to change and this information does not constitute legal counsel. It is advisable to consult a local attorney before recording any phone calls.

Federal and state laws on call recording in the United States

U.S. federal law allows the recording of phone calls with the consent of at least one party. This means that if you are initiating a recording on a call that you are participating in, the other party does not need to be notified that the call is being recorded.

Currently, 12 states require the consent of all parties involved in a particular conversation: California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington.

Notification of call recording

Prior to recording, you will need to notify one of both parties that you intend to record. This is generally accomplished with a verbal notification by the recording party; sometimes it is sufficient to insert an automatic, periodic beep tone indicating recording is about to begin and continuing while the recording is in progress. Some of the Voxida call recording solutions can provide an optional beep tone in certain configurations. There are specific requirements for this beep tone: it needs to be a 1260 to 1540 Hertz tone, lasting 170 to 250 milliseconds, and broadcast for both sides to hear every 12 to 15 seconds during the call recording. Accurate Always, Inc. can tell you what options you have with your existing phone system for automatic notification and associated best practices.

International laws and regulations on call recording notification

Canadian notification requirements for call recording

Canada requires dual-party notification for organizations subject to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). When recording calls in Canada, one should also detail the purpose for recording said calls. For example: "This call is being recorded to survey customer feedback, to verify transactions and for training new associates."

This is extremely important as the standard call center practice of saying that calls are being recorded to assure quality is not sufficient if the recordings are used for other purposes (which they usually are). Learn more about PIPEDA requirements at the Office for the Privacy Commissioner.

British call recording notification law

If you are recording calls in the UK, you may be subject to single or dual-party notification requirements. The UK in particular has complicated legal issues to navigate, so checking with local legal counsel, who is apprised of the latest developments and case law, is key. There are two main acts to consider: the Telecommunications Act 1984 and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA). The later permits recordings in a corporate environment for training purposes, to demonstrate quality and standards (regulatory or in-house) are being achieved, and for verification of facts and transactions. These recordings are to only be used in the business that has made them, although there may be special cases for use by a third party if you have gathered consent from all callers. Like other areas, it is advisable to make all reasonable efforts to notify parties before recording commences.

Australian call recording notification law

You must notify callers in Australia; the Communications Authority published the "Telecommunications Interception Review," which states "The Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979 prohibits a person from listening to or recording, by any means, of a communication in its passage over a telecommunications system without the knowledge of the person making the communication. A communication includes conversation and a message, and any part of a conversation or message, whether in the form of speech, music or other sounds, data, text, visual images, signals or in any other form or combination of forms." For more information, please see the Australian Communications Authority's (ACA) website.

Other countries

Telephone recording regulations in countries other than the United States or Canada vary widely. Check with your local government's telecommunications authority for the applicable laws in your area. Many countries do not have specific laws covering telecommunications and regulate on a case-by-case basis.

Voice and video call recording software and appliances

Voxida Software SuiteThe Voxida call recording software suite records, monitors and reports on calls
Voxida Additional ModulesAdditional software enhancements build on the Voxida software suite
SystemsWe also offer a turnkey solution with the Voxida appliances
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