Legal – Call Recording Information
This document provides customers with a starting point in their efforts to understand and comply with call recording laws. The information herein is general in nature and is available in the public domain. It is not legal advice. Jive Communications, Inc. (“Jive”) offers the information as-is, without any warranty of accuracy or applicability. Except for calls with Jive which are accompanied by notice of possible recording (such as calls to Jive’s customer service departments), Jive does not record its customers’ calls. Each customer is responsible to understand and comply with the law, and Jive encourages each customer to consult with an attorney before recording any calls.
Call recording is regulated at the federal and state levels. Federal call recording laws apply only to interstate or international calls, and state laws govern intrastate calls. Those who unlawfully record a call may face civil suit and criminal prosecution.
The federal statute primarily associated with call recording is the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (the “ECPA”). In general, the ECPA prohibits call recording as an unlawful “interception” of a communication. However, the ECPA allows recording if at least one participant on the call has consented to recording. Another exception, sometimes called the “business telephone” or “ordinary course of business” exception, generally allows an employer to record an employee’s phone calls if the calls use a business telephone and if the recording is within the ordinary course of the employer’s business. This exception has roots in the definition of “intercept” within the ECPA and is quite nuanced. Jive strongly recommends that customers consult an attorney before relying on this or any other exception to the ECPA.
Common carrier telephone companies are subject to additional federal regulations regarding call recording.
State laws vary in their treatment of call recording. However, most states require either that all parties to a call consent to recording or that at least one party consents. The states in each category are identified below.
States requiring only one party to consent to recording: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, District Of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
States requiring all parties to consent to recording: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Washington
These categorizations are general and subject to change. Customers should consult an attorney or a responsible government authority — such as a state public utilities commission, public service commission, or department of commerce — for up-to-date details about regulation of call recording in that state.
The following references may help customers understand more about call recording.
Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (“ECPA”), 18 U.S.C. 2510-2522: https://it.ojp.gov/default.aspx?area=privacy&page=1285
Recording Telephone Conversations: http://www.fcc.gov/guides/recording-telephone-conversations
Reporter’s Recording Guide: A state-by-state guide to recording calls and in-person conversations: