One of the most popular features of any audio conferencing service if the ability to record conference calls.
It’s a relatively straightforward tool that involves clicking a button to start and stop recording, or if using a telephone to control the conference, pressing a certain key combination on your phone’s keypad (such as *2).
However, there are a few nuances you’ll need to be aware of.
Record Conference Calls and Complying with Applicable Laws
In the United States, individual states and the federal government have their own laws governing the recording of telephone calls. It all comes down to consent which can either be:
- One-party consent — With this type of consent, which is designed to prevent the anonymous wiretapping of phone lines, just one person needs to consent to the recording. That person can be the person making the recording such as the host of a conference call.
- Two-party / all-party consent — With this type of consent, everyone involved in a call must be informed that the call is being recorded.
In general, the law of the state, or states, in which the parties to the call reside in, applies. Thus, if you’re holding a conference call in Texas, and all attendees live there, then you’ll need to comply with Texas state law which allows for one-party consent.
Record Conference Calls California and Florida
However, if you have attendees from California or Florida, those states require two-party / all-party consent, in which case you’ll need to inform everyone that the call is being recorded. It gets murkier when multiple states are involved. Federal law is generally thought to take precedence when callers are from multiple states. Federal law allows for one-party consent.
Because it’s not always clear which state the other parties might be located in, it’s smart to err on the side of caution and get in the habit of assuming that two-party / all-party consent is required. It’s also considered a professional courtesy, if not a best practice, to announce that a conference call is being recorded. If anyone does not want to be recorded, they can opt out of participating in the call.