UK Call Recording Laws: What You Need to Know

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UK Call Recording Laws: What You Need to Know

June 14, 2017

Call recording can be a valuable business tool for companies with external-facing contact centers. But with the great power that call recording offers, so comes great responsibility. And that responsibility includes ensuring personal privacy in line with government regulations.

There are plenty of regulations out there that apply to call recording. And there’s more to come.

Meeting these regulations will involve some work. But the value of call recording can be worth that investment of time and other resources. So let’s first review what call recording brings to the table.

The ability to capture and revisit conversations and clips can allow an organization to use that information to improve training and provide concrete examples to its workers of what to do or not to do. That can help the business increase call center agent productivity and customer service levels. Having recordings on hand also can provide businesses with reliable data on which they can base decisions related to dispute resolution. Recordings also can be extremely important in legal matters.

Businesses operating in the U.K. that do call recording should be meeting the requirements related to personal privacy found in the Data Protection Act 1998. A recent article by journalist Paul Newham of CommsTrader explains that the Data Protection Act 1998 doesn’t specifically mention call recording. But call recording clearly falls under the purview of this legislation, which covers activities that involve processing personal data, he says. He points out that that includes the creation, management, and use of records.

So businesses that do that kind of thing need to be sure they’re not using the captured data for any purpose other than that for which it was intended, according to the Data Protection Act 1998. The businesses that record and store the data need to put the appropriate infrastructure and mechanisms in place to keep it safe. They should only store the data as long as they need it. And these businesses must be registered with the Information Commissioner’s office.

But that’s not the only thing businesses that do call recording need to do on the legal and regulatory front, according to the article. They must also make it clear to customers and employees when calls are being recorded, giving them the option to opt out of the recording, and explain what information they are gathering and why. These requirements are laid out in the Data Protection Act, the Telecommunications Act 1984, and the Human Rights Act 1998, according to Newham.

Businesses also have to be sure to meet industry-specific rules related to PCI and SOX, among other regulations.

As if that wasn’t enough, the DPA in less than a year will be replaced by new rules under the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation

Edited by Alicia Young

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