Thursday, May 13, 2010

International Call Recording Laws and Regulations

Last week we looked at Call Recording Laws in the US at both the Federal and State levels. Similar to how laws vary from state-to-state in the US, telephone recording regulations vary from country to country, and when you're recording an international call you need to be cognizant of the regulations of all the countries involved in the call.

call recording softwareBecause many countries do not have specific laws covering telecommunications, or their laws are so vague they regulate on a case-by-case basis, your first course of action should be to check with your local government’s telecommunications authority. Local government agencies will be familiar with the various international telephone recording regulations. A great resource for Americans is the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) website, where there is a state-by-state listing of relevant local authorities. Outside the US, the consulate in any country is a good place to start; you should be able to find their contact information online. Be advised that calling these local authorities is important. It is not enough to do research online, there are simply too many variations and details.

Examples of international call recording laws:

Canadian one-party notification for call recording
Similar to a majority of U.S. states, Canada requires "one-party notification." This means you can record any phone call you participate in, even if you don’t inform the other caller.

British call recording notification law
The United Kingdom mostly requires single-party notification. However, the laws in the UK are somewhat vague. One of their missions is to protect employees by requiring non-recorded telephones in the workplace. So there’s little guidance for, say, an entrepreneur who works at home alone but makes sales calls they want to record. In such cases, it is advisable to check with a local attorney before recording any calls.

Australian call recording notification law
Australia’s applicable law, The Telecommunications (Interception) Act of 1979, states that whoever is being recorded must be informed. And this goes beyond mere phone calls to include any communication, including: "a conversation, a message, any excerpt of a conversation or message, whether in the form of speech, music or other sounds, data, text, visual images, signals or in any other form or combination of forms." Australia’s laws are extensive, so it’s worth taking a look at the guidelines available through the Australian Communications Authority (ACA).

Whether you want to set up a call recording system for quality assurance, compliance or any other reason, no matter what country you are in it is important to check your local laws, and the laws of other countries you will be recording. Particularly when laws are vague or have exceptions for businesses, you should get in touch with a lawyer or government official to make sure that your call recording plans won't be in violation of any laws.


  1. Very well written article. Thanks for sharing. I don't have any idea about the laws of international recording calls. Today, I am able to get something about it only because of your article. Next month, I am going to UK and surely checked this thing.

  2. Got a question, if someone records a call from the United States to another country, how do they prosecute them? Is it an extraditable offense?

    1. I broke the Australian law regarding this! I live in the USA, Billary Clinton didn't come after me, LOL.

  3. Hello friends I am living in London (uk ) and I used to call to my Family ,Friends and for business purpose ,So I am looking for an International Calling Package for that Suits to my pocket . Please Suggest Me something.


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