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To Record or Not to Record: The Issue of Recording Conference Calls

Updated on April 30, 2013

Conference call services take pride in the diversity of its features, and one of them is recording an entire conference. More than dozens of blogs and write-ups about conference calls endorse this specific feature as an advantage, especially when a number of key participants are absent.

The recorded meeting is later downloaded and shared for review. Secretaries benefit from this because they can note better detailed minutes based on the recording. Depending on what concerns may arise, you will be comforted to know that you have these in your resources.

However, are you aware that recording conference calls is a much more complicated topic than others make you believe? The privacy of each participant involved, and so is yours. Lawyers and other legal experts have something to say about this, and if you are a wise businessman who has profited through the use of conference calling, you will want to ingest their opinions.

There can be nothing more inconveneint for you right now than landing inside a courtroom with a mistake founded solely on pure ignorance.

What’s the problem with recording calls?

There’s no real problem with it unless somebody else sees it as such. A recorded call can be used against you or any of the participants of the conference during legal matters. It can be cross examined or twisted beyond its original intent. That’s the last thing you need, being a rising businessman. The charge will stand out in your history and may be the cause of hesitation from future partners and investors. Without these two, there’s little chance that you’ll thrive as fast as you want to. It takes time to heal damages like that because the scar is on your reputation.

There are ways to avoid this

…and those ways do not necessarily include the termination of recording benefits altogether. Caution is a key ingredient you should always keep with you.

  1. Ask for their consent: Most misunderstandings occur because someone did something behind his back. If you have a valid reason for wanting to record a conference call, let the participants know and earn their approval. Do not get their consent after you have recorded it, because that would be violating their privacy and later inquiring if what you did was alright with them.

    Better yet, have them sign a written document stating that they agree on the recording and the terms you have included. This is particularly important if you intend to publish it. Publishing means you make it available in a sphere where people outside the group of participants can see or hear it. If you post it in the web, access to it may be out of your control even if only site members can go to that specific post. Anything can happen in the web, and that is a fact you must not contend with. If it falls into the hands of random people, you can face problems about the distribution of the recording, whether it was done with or without your knowledge.

  2. Know where the participants are coming from: A fact that will stress the importance of his is that there are countries like Australia that considers it illegal to record calls without the permission of the parties involved in the call. Do not be tempted by most free audio conferencing that offers this feature, because you think no one will find out. Keep things professional and be responsible for your actions.

    It helps if you do not rely solely on the information the participants give you. They might be unaware of the law themselves. Do the necessary research to secure your actions. All these hard labor will pay off when everybody else but you has experienced trouble with recorded calls.

  3. Destroy it at once: Has the purpose of the recorded conference call been accomplished? Do you have no more reason to keep it? If you answered ‘yes’ to both questions, go ahead and delete the recording. You are saving yourself from future troubles by acting responsibly. Seek legal counsel to be sure that you are not committing a crime or heading for a lawsuit. Doing so will kill your ignorance and help you deal more responsibly in your endeavors.

The Advantages

There are several advantages of conference call recording as well. If you need to remember important discussions held during meetings then call recording is the best feature available. It can be of valuable assistance and you can have access to call summaries along with an actual recording of the call that enables you to take smarter business decisions. Several free audio conferencing service providers offer call recording facility which proves a boon for the businesses.

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