Are There Legal Issues Surrounding the Use of Telephone Recorders in Canada?

December 1st, 2019 in Security and Surveillance
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The short answer to the question in the title of this article is “maybe”.

Canada has something called a “one-party consent” rule. So, if two (or more) persons are talking on the telephone, as long as one person (like you) consents to recording the conversation, you can record it.

No, you don’t have to tell anyone that you are recording it.

But there are a few conditions for the one-party consent rule to apply at work. You have to be a participant in the phone call, you have to be an employee but not a manager, and you have to be an intended party to the call.

So, you’re safer applying the rule at home.

As long as you consent to recording yourself talking to someone else, you can record the conversation, and you don’t have to tell the other person.

Please note that in Canada, you are not allowed to record a conversation that you are not participating in, like something you’re overhearing but weren’t supposed to hear.

Law enforcement people can record those conversation if and only if they have a warrant to do so. Having a warrant means a judge decided that the law enforcement folks had a compelling reason to listen in on a private conversation, and the judge gave them written permission to do so.

This issue was talked about a lot in the press recently when Jody Wilson- Raybould, the former Attorney General, recorded a phone conversation she had with Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick. Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s case is somewhat more complicated because she’s a lawyer, and more rules on this matter apply to lawyers.

Seriously, how many times have you spoken on the phone to customer service at a large company, and you hear, “this conversation is being recorded….” Everybody does it, and you can, too.

In any case, yes, in general you can, and there are different ways to record phone conversations. So, if that’s something you want to do, contact us, and we’re happy to discuss equipment with you.

The Spy Store specializes in high-quality, professional-grade, security and surveillance equipment and is the biggest of its kind in Canada. The Spy Store has been in business for over 20 years and has four locations, two in Vancouver, one in Surrey, BC, one in Calgary, AB, and a large online store.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about security or surveillance equipment, please call us at (604) 731-6662.

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