If you are in California and looking to record a telephone conversation, California recording laws are something you CANNOT ignore in 2019.
Is it legal to record a conversation in California? Yes, it is legal to record, but only if you adhere to strict California recording laws, which are one of the toughest in the USA.
So before you use a call recording app in the Golden State, read this article to get a full understanding of legality of call recording in California.
California recording laws - the toughest in the country?
At the heart of the California recording law is the California two-party consent law, which requires that EVERY party to a phone call has to give explicit permission for call recording to stand as legal.
Despite the words "Two-party" used, all parties have to grant permission, before the call can be recorded, not just two.
In fact, only 10 other states share a similar law, while most states do not have such stringent statutes, and have much relaxed legislation- such as a "One-party" recording law.
Read the difference between One-party and Two Party laws in our in-depth guide of Call recording Laws
How to obtain consent from callers?
Getting consent from your callers may seem daunting task, it is still manageable after you get the hang of it. Here's what exactly you need to do and how to say it.
Recording conversations in California will need to go through specific process of asking for permission at the beginning of the call. Before commencing the recording, you will need to annouce to all users your intention to record the call, which could go something like this:
"Dear sirs, I am informing you that I will have to record this phone call."
"Hi everyone, please note that this call is recorded for my future reference"
NEXT, you will need the parties to give their consent, or hang up immediately if they do not agree to it.
"If you are not comfortable with it, please let me know at once or hang up the call."
"If you have objections please let me know at once, otherwise the call recording will commence right now."
Why are laws for recording phone calls in California so tough?
In fact, California has been in recent times been a battleground for protection of personal privacy rules.
For example, the recently enacted California Consumer Privacy Act in January 2019, grants residents new rights to control what information businesses gather about them. As a result, tech companies such as Facebook, Google face enormous pressure to change their data collection and advertising practices, in the name of Internet privacy.
California recording laws exist to protect the privacy of callers. These laws may be passed some time ago, but their relevance today is higher than ever in the face of increasing consumer privacy protection.
Pro tip: Use this great app for recording conversations and automatically get consent from all parties
To protect yourself against any California recording laws and eavesdropping laws, you will need a call recording app that takes care of getting permission for you.
Re-Call Recorder app, has a "Recording permission announcement" feature, that works before call recording commences.
At the beginning of every call, there will be automated message to warn or notify parties of the call recording and to get their permission.
"THIS IS TO NOTIFY YOU THAT THIS CALL MAY BE RECORDED".
With the automated message, you are spared the embarrassing task of informing everyone of the call recording. After parties hear and consent to the automated recording message, you automatically comply with California recording laws, helping everyone to stay focused on moving on to the actual call.