Surprisingly, it’s perfectly legal to record a conversation over the phone or in real life with whoever you’re conversing with.
Most people may assume it’s illegal, but it’s actually perfectly legal to do.
The issue that arises about the recording is where, or what it is going to be used for. Giving, or showing that recording to a third party without the consent of the other party would illegal.
So what if they contain evidence against or for a certain person?
These recordings can be disclosed if there is a valid reason to do so without the other parties permission. And permission can also be gained retrospectively.
However, all the policies above apply only to personal conversations.
Conversations between businesses and consumers come under separate laws.
According to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), it permits a company to lawfully record conversations only to:
If these criteria are not met for the purpose of the recording then there is no legal basis for them to be recording the conversation. There is also an added criterion that there must be reasonable effort to try and inform the customer that they are being recorded.
Employees often use recordings of hearings or employment disputes in court in order to win their case at an employment tribunal. Courts often allow these recordings to be heard in court, especially if the employer is a public body. Most employers now include clauses in their contracts that ensure their employees do not record any in house hearings or meetings.
So are these recordings admissible in court?
in most cases, RIPA (regulation of investigatory powers Act 2000) doesn’t allow the admissibility of such recorded. However, in many cases, especially in civil law, the judge may allow the recording to be heard if they think it is highly relevant. If it is admitted, it will be taken into account when judging the case.
Another aspect to bear in mind is that the although the case may be ruled in your favour. The evidence for the case will still have been obtained illegally and therefore fewer damages or compensation may be rewarded.
Another situation that could arise is if the opposing council rules that the data was collected unfairly and has been used to cause loss. This would be a breach of the data protection act, and they may ask for damages.