A Guide to Call Recording Laws and Regulations

Understanding call recording consent and compliance in the U.S., Europe, and internationally

A Guide to Call Recording Laws and Regulations

Understanding call recording consent and compliance in the U.S., Europe, and internationally

Recording calls for coaching, training, and other purposes can be an effective sales readiness strategy. However, before you head off to start recording your next sales call, you will have to ensure that your business complies with prevailing call recording laws.

 

This straightforward guide (no legal speak!) provides an overview of the different call recording rules at the federal, state, and international levels. If you are short on time, skip to the TLDR snapshot of this document.

Index

Top Use Cases for Recording Calls

There are many reasons businesses record calls, though most revolve around using the recordings as coaching and QA tools to drive higher-quality customer experiences.

The types of calls we see most often recorded in Conversation Intelligence platforms are:

  • Sales calls
  • Client meetings
  • Webinars
  • Training and coaching calls
  • Customer service and support call

 

Your reason for recording the call has little to no bearing on the type of compliance that needs to be done.

Understanding Consent and Its Types

Most laws in the call recording space involve getting consent from those participating in the call. Generally, if you notify the participants of a call that the call will be recorded and they stay on the line without objection, it is considered consent (called passive consent).

Depending on the location, you will need to comply with one of two types of consent.

Single-Party Consent or One-Party Consent

In Single-Party Consent (also called One-Party Consent), any active participant can record the call.

Thus, Party A can record a call as long as s/he is in the room, present on the call, or can reasonably overhear the conversation.

Under Single-Party Consent, other participants do not need to be informed about the recording. If you are calling a prospect and you know that the call is being recorded (and you’re on the call), this can be considered Single-Party Consent.

Note: Party A is not permitted to record a call when s/he is

  • Not in the room
  • Not present on the call or
  • Unable to reasonably overhear the conversation.

Recording a call in the above scenarios is wire-tapping, which is illegal.

Two-Party Consent or All-Party Consent

In Two-Party Consent (also called All-Party Consent), you have to alert all attendees that you will be recording the call by providing either an audio or a visual cue.

In some countries, such as Canada and Ireland, you are also required by law to state the purpose of the recording so participants can give informed consent.

Call Recording Laws in the U.S.

There are different call recording laws at the federal and state level in the United States.

Federal

The federal law in the U.S. (18 U.S.C. § 2511(2)(d)) requires Single-Party Consent for call recording, so long as the consenter has full knowledge that the conversation will be recorded.

States

While U.S. Federal law and many state statutes allow recording if one party (including you) to the phone call or conversation consents, other states have accepted different laws and require all parties to the communication consent for recording i.e, Two-Party Consent.

Single-Party Consent States
Two-Party Consent States

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, D.C., Georgia, Hawaii*, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

* Hawaii is in general a one-party state but requires two-party consent if the recording device is installed in a private place (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 803-42(b)(3)).

California, Connecticut, Delaware*, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan*, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington State.

* Michigan and Delaware laws are somewhat unclear on this.

single Consent States
two Party Consent States

There are a few states (such as Oregon, Nevada, and Vermont) that have mixed regulations (Nevada, Oregon) or no regulation at all (Vermont). In locations that have mixed consent requirements or unclear call recording regulations or no regulation at all, each participant of the call is protected (and must comply with) by the law which governs their location.

Further, it is very difficult to say in advance which Call recording laws will apply in case of a call with participants from different states or different countries. In general, the most common method used for obtaining the consent is to provide a verbal notification to all participants before recording the call and if the party engages in the conversation, then it is considered consent.

Call Recording Laws in Europe

Consent

Prior to the GDPR, call recording regulations varied widely in the EU. Some EU nations permitted Single-Party Consent while others required Two-Party Consent (e.g. Germany) for recording calls. In countries that do not have defined regulations for call recordings, each call participant’s local laws will apply.

Compliance With GDPR

After General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the bar for valid consent was raised. Data controllers must have a legal basis or explicit, active consent to process (i.e. collect, store, share, etc.) the personal data of EU residents. Businesses recording conversations will be required to actively justify lawfulness of recording, by demonstrating the purpose fulfills one of the Article 6 conditions.

In essence, do not collect personal data from an EU resident on a call or otherwise, unless they’ve actively consented to share it with you. Data controllers held in violation of GDPR are vulnerable to fines and other penalties.

Mindtickle is compliant with GDPR. Our Privacy Policy outlines our commitment to maintaining the privacy of our customers’ personal data. It describes data collection, processing, and usage practices across the services provided by Mindtickle. It also describes the choices available to Mindtickle customers regarding the use of, access to, and how to update and correct personal information. More details on our GDPR compliance can be accessed here.

Call Recording Laws in Countries Outside the U.S. and EU

International call recording laws vary widely and many countries do not have specific laws that cover telecommunication issues.

Here is a small sampling of international call recording laws of predominantly English-speaking countries:

  • UK: Two-Party Consent
  • South Africa: Two-Party Consent
  • Canada: Two-Party Consent, though Party A must also explain to Party B why the call is being recorded
  • Australia: Call recording is illegal in most cases. Call recording may only be permitted for purposes of obtaining a warrant and monitoring criminal activity

Meeting Compliance Requirements With Mindtickle

At Mindtickle, we aim to harness and lead technological advancements without compromising our commitment to safety, privacy, and compliance for all parties involved.

How Mindtickle’s Call AI Works

Here’s a quick look at how Call AI works and it’s capabilities. This will change as we enhance the product going forward.

Step 1: Administrators configure settings to determine what calls Call AI will join, like only external meetings.
Step 2: The sales rep integrates their company calendar with Call AI. This gives Call AI access to all upcoming external meetings.
Step 3: Call AI sends pre-meeting notification emails and joins the meetings scheduled on the rep’s calendar, recording and transcribing the conversations.
Step 4: AI analyzes the transcription and generates actionable trends and insights about the call. These insights can be leveraged to improve selling skills and boost win rates.
Step 5: If someone does not consent to the call recording by responding to the email notification, Call AI is automatically removed. Call owners can also manually remove Call AI as-needed at any time.

 

How Mindtickle Ensures Compliance

Given the varied nature of laws, Mindtickle offers Two-Party Consent as a default.

Here’s how Mindtickle’s Call AI ensures compliance with all call recording laws across the U.S., EU, and internationally.

Before the call: 15 minutes before the meeting, an email goes out to all participants informing them that the call will be recorded and an option is provided to all participants to disable the recording for the upcoming meeting.

During the call: Once the meeting starts and the participant joins, Call AI announces that the call is being recorded for training & quality purposes. Mindtickle also allows companies to have an announcement cue of their choice. The recording can be stopped at any time during the call by the participants or the host.*

After the call: If a participant responds to the email ‘Disable recording and join’ the recording will be disabled. If a participant requests to delete a recording, you can optionally notify all attendees confirming that the call was deleted.

*Depending on the web conferencing tool, some allow only hosts or co-hosts this ability.

Mindtickle’s Call Recording
Compliance Measures

recording Compliance Measures

Before the call
  • Administrators can define what types of calls get recorded (internal vs. external vs. all calls)
  • Reps have the option to enable/disable the bot from joining certain meetings
  • An email is sent to all participants informing them that the call will be recorded
  • The email includes an option to disable the recording
During the call
  • Call AI announces that the call is being recorded when the meeting starts (audio cue)
  • The recording can be stopped at any point during the call
  • Call AI can be renamed to indicate it is a ‘recorder’ or ‘notetaker’
After the call
  • If a participant responds to the email ‘Disable recording and join’ the recording will be disabled
  • If a participant requests to delete a recording, you can optionally notify all attendees confirming that the call was deleted

As a best practice, Mindtickle recommends obtaining consent for recording from all parties in the call. In addition, you can:

  • Establish a company-wide policy regarding recording etiquette and use call scripts to reduce human error
  • Utilize a virtual waiting room so when all participants enter the meeting, they hear the automated recording notification
  • Include ‘recorder’ in the name of your Call AI participant
  • After the automated recording notification is delivered, give a verbal alert as the host and state the purpose for recording
  • Get verbal confirmation from each attendee that they consent to being recorded
  • Periodically review your call recordings to ensure hosts are adhering to company policy

Do your due diligence. Consult your legal counsel before recording calls with parties in a new location. Ensure the call recording and conversation intelligence partner you choose is doing everything possible to help you stay compliant.

Summary Snapshot
Jurisdiction
Call Recording Compliance Requirement
Note
The Mindtickle Approach
The U.S.(Federal)

Do not record a call if you are:

  • not in the room
  • not present on the call or
  • unable to reasonably overhear the conversation.

Doing otherwise is essentially wire-tapping and illegal.

Two-Party Consent as a default.

Before the call: 15 minutes before the meeting, an email goes out to all participants informing them
that the call will be recorded and an option is provided for them to disable the recording for the upcoming meeting.

During the call: Once the meeting starts, Call AI announces that the call is being recorded. The recording can be
stopped at any time during the call by the participants or the host.

After the call: Participants can request to delete a recorded call and an optional notification can be sent to all attendees confirming the deletion.

As a best practice Mindtickle recommends obtaining consent from all parties during the call.

The U.S.(States)

Few states require Two-Party Consent and permit passive consent.

Almost all other states permit Single-Party Consent.

Do not record a call if you did not go through reasonable effort to alert attendees that you will be recording the call by providing either an audio or a visual cue.
Europe

Under GDPR, data controllers must have a legal basis to collect, store, and share the personal data of EU residents.

In the absence of a legal basis as outlined by the GDPR, controllers must obtain the active consent of the participant before collecting his/her data.

Do not collect personal data from an EU resident on call or otherwise unless:

  • you have a legal basis for doing so
  • you have active consent from the participant before collecting the data.

Violating GDPR can lead to fines and other penalties.

Other Countries

Wide variations in call recording regulations.

  • UK: Two-Party Consent
  • South Africa: Two-Party Consent
  • Canada: Two-Party Consent, though Party A must also explain to Party B why the call is being recorded
  • Australia: Call recording is illegal in most cases.

In some countries, such as Australia, call recording is illegal in most cases.

Please consult your legal counsel before commencing call recordings in new jurisdictions.

Disclaimer

MINDTICKLE IS PROVIDING THIS DOCUMENT FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE.
Mindtickle does not warrant that the information in this document is complete, true, accurate, up-to-date, or non-misleading. Call recording laws are complex, strict, and ever-changing. You should consult with your legal advisors to ensure that your use of services is compliant with all applicable laws, regulations, and requirements.

Glossary

Consent
In the context of call recording laws, consent refers to the permission you need to get from one or more participants of a call in order to meet the requirements of the call recording laws of any location.

  • Single-Party Consent
    Any active participant of a call can record that call and their consent is sufficient. They do not need to seek consent from any other participant on the call. Hence the name “single-party” consent.
  • Two-Party Consent
    This refers to consent that has to be sought from all participants of a call prior to recording the call. It is also called all-party consent. You may also need to convey the purpose for the recording to help participants take an informed decision.
  • Passive Consent
    If participants know that the call is being recorded and they stay on the call without any objection,this is called passive consent. Most locations permit passive consent.
  • Active consent
    Some locations mandate that you need to get explicit consent from participants before recording a call. This can be obtained by either a verbal confirmation wherein the participant says that they agree to the recording or a written confirmation to that effect.
GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) governs data protection and privacy in the European Union (EU). It gives EU residents the power to decide who gets access to their personal data. All businesses, whether based in the EU or outside of it, have to comply with the GDPR.

In accordance with this regulation, you cannot collect personal information on call (or otherwise) from EU residents unless they have given you explicit permission, or if you have a strong legal basis to do so.
Read more about the GDPR.

  • Data controller
    A data controller is anyone who processes, collects, stores, or controls the data collected from the recorded call.
Cues

A cue is a signal that can be used to indicate that the call is being recorded. This can be a one-time cue at the start of the recording or a cue that lasts the entire duration of the call. Cues can be auditory (e.g. announcements) or visual (e.g. a prominent “Recording” sign).

About Us

Mindtickle offers the industry’s most comprehensive sales readiness solution for closing the knowledge and skill gaps found in customer-facing teams. Organizations across a wide range of industries use Mindtickle’s award-winning platform to train, coach, and align their teams to make end-users and their managers more effective.

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