To Record Phone Calls In Secret

October 18, 2008

To the question, “Should you record phone calls secretly?” the answer is maybe… You should never record someone else (over the phone or otherwise) without their knowledge and consent.

While there might occasionally be a valid, and legal, reason for recording a phone call without the other person’s consent, those reasons are very few. If you should find it necessary, for one of those few reasons, to tape or digitally record a phone conversation without the other person’s consent, be careful.

Laws about whether to record telephone calls vary, and you may fall under both the jurisdiction of your location and the other person’s location. Check both sets of laws carefully before recording anything. You don’t want to get into legal trouble for recording just because you didn’t understand the laws.

Legality is the primary concern for recording without permission. The second concern, in order of importance, is the relationship. If you care about the relationship and want it to continue, recording a conversation without permission will probably interfere with that.

It’s easy to be a little sarcastic about this topic, but it is actually very important that you understand what you’re doing if you choose to record telephone calls in secret.

If it’s intended as a joke and you don’t use it in a malicious or public way, you may not face any consequences. But as numerous people have found out very publicly and messily, malicious recording of phone calls can create a huge number of headaches. And the worst part is that it hardly ever solves the headaches it was intended to resolve.

It is hardly ever a good idea to record telephone calls in secret. You should make every effort to find a better way to fix whatever the problem is, unless you believe that recording secretly will be worth the price, and you have investigated and know what that price will be.


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