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What are the call recording laws?

Last updated: November 1, 2017

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The call-recording feature in HubSpot's 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, HubSpot 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. If a contact's area code is associated with one of these states, the CRM is configured to turn off the recording feature automatically and display a pop-up alert when the feature is turned on to remind you to obtain consent. You'll need to inform the contact that you'll be recording, then click I have informed them to continue recording the call. 


However, because HubSpot 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

*HubSpot has chosen to include Delaware and Vermont on this list because they're tricky cases: Delaware has some conflicting laws about how many parties need to consent, and Vermont doesn't have specific laws on the subject, but does have some relevant court cases. 

 

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. 

You can read more about the UK's approach by checking out Wikipedia's page on telephone recording laws, Ofcom's FAQ page for the regulations, or VanillaIP's quick summary on the subject. 

Ireland

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


Canada

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. Since HubSpot doesn't know and can't enforce all international calling legal restrictions, HubSpot opts for displaying this consent message for all international callsBefore making a call to a new country, HubSpot 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. 

The countries above were chosen for informational purposes; HubSpot doesn't guarantee that you can use the CRM to call any or all of these countries. This guide has provided information about the law designed to help HubSpot's readers better understand the legal issues surrounding call recording. Legal information is not the same as legal advice, the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances. Although HubSpot has conducted research to better ensure that this information is accurate and useful, HubSpot insists that you consult a lawyer if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is accurate. You may not rely upon this information as legal advice, nor as a recommendation or endorsement of any particular legal understanding, and you should instead regard this article as intended for informational purposes only. 

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