You Have a Right to Know When You're Being Recorded

Call Recording Featured Article

You Have a Right to Know When You're Being Recorded

January 17, 2013

When calling a contact center, we’re used to hearing “this call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes” by now. Most of us have no complaints with that; after all, it ensures the information we provide will remain on-record, and if the call center agent does a poor job, there’s recorded proof for it.

However, what if we’re not told that the call will be recorded? Those who are used to call centers and call center technology have come to take it for granted, but not everyone has the experience or forethought to assume that what they say will be recorded for posterity. If they’re not informed, the fault for that lies with the call center, and in some instances, that means the center is breaking the law.

There’s a law in California stating that people must be informed when their call is being recorded, with penalties in place for those who don’t inform the callers about the recording. However, this isn’t always obeyed, and the penalties aren’t always enforced.

There are those who are aiming to help enforce the law, though, such as the law firm of Keller Grover, which is currently dealing with several cases involving the Invasion of Privacy Act. This act prohibits recording telephone conversations without the consent of everyone involved in the call, with a penalty of up to $5,000 per consumer. As these are class action lawsuits, one victory could result in payments for many plaintiffs. Currently, the firm is involved in suits against StubHub, Inc. and Hyundai Motor America, which recorded calls from customers without notifying them first.

This is an important issue not just for those involved in the lawsuit, but for everyone’s right to privacy. We have a right to know when our calls are being recorded, and while most people are fine with it once they know, it’s still important that we are aware. Fortunately, most call centers do follow the law and alert callers when the calls will be recorded. The cases in which they do not are few and far apart, but they should be taken seriously, lest we let our rights to privacy slip away.

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