Is it illegal to make recordings or listen to communications without the prior consent of the customer?
No. It is not illegal to make recordings or to listen to communications providing you have taken 'reasonable' steps to inform both parties that recording is being used. It is also important to register as a data user (unless you are exempt from registration).
Do I have to make customers aware that voice recording is being used?
Yes. It is critical that you make "reasonable steps" to ensure customers aware that calls may be recorded. This can be a recorded announcement (i.e. "Calls may be recorded for quality purposes") and/or a statement in communications materials such as brochures, website, advertisements or direct communications (e-mail/mail) that solicited the call. "Reasonable steps" may include some or all of these, or an alternative method.
Can I record on behalf of a client and e-mail the recordings to them?
Yes. Provided you and your client both meet with all the requirements. If your client does not meet the requirements even though you do, you could still be held accountable.
This will require you to have taken the "reasonable steps", have valid legal reasons and have registered your use, so must your client. Check that your client has registered and meets the all the criteria before working in this way.
Data principle 8 states that data is not sent outside the EEA without adequate protection, so it is preferable for you both to be registered. The LPBR rules allow recordings as evidence of business transactions as well as standards being met. Providing the reasons for a client wanting the recordings are valid under these rules, onward transmission is legal. It is good practice to ensure that your contract with your client outlines the 'valid reasons' for recording usage and backs off the legal implications set out by EEA and LPBR.
This guidance is in relation to commercial applications for recording and monitoring of calls. It does not cover private calls made by your staff or any legal requirements for mandatory monitoring under e.g. the Financial Services Act.
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