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MrJohnW

Help with law regarding the recording of calls.

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Hi,

 

I quite often record calls to companies so there can be no confusion on what was said. I am aware I do not need to inform them or gain permission as the recordings are for my own records only and I need the other parties permission to use the recording for any other purposes such as supplying it as part of a complaint against them.

 

However, what is the law regarding Transcripts of the call? If I sit and transcribe it can I legally supply a written record of the call as part of a complaint without requiring permission?

 

The call in question is one that happened between myself and a Senior Revenue Officer of my local council and he is now telling porky pies as to the things he said on the phone.

 

Thanks

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I have to start off by saying that I don't know if the rules relating to transcripts are different from the rules relating to recordings – but I expect that they probably are exactly the same because the transcript is sourced from the recording.

 

However, I would have no hesitation using a recording – for a transcript as part of any official complaint to some formal body and tended to them under conditions of confidentiality.

 

If you really have caught somebody out telling porkies then if they object to the fact you recorded the call, you can tell them to sue you.

 

The rule is that you can record as long as you using it for your own purposes – and this means your own private purposes


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You are allowed to covertly record for personal use as per the data protection act. You can then use said recordings in a court room as per aricle 6 'the right tons fair trial' provided it is 'in the interests of justice'. There's loads of case law on this which I don't have to hand. I've done it myself against a previous employer.

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According to the faq on the Ofcom website I need the other parties consent to give it out to a third party and if I do not have it it is a tort offence.

 

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/archive/oftel/consumer/advice/faqs/prvfaq3.htm

 

I intend on supplying it as part of an official complaint I am making against him as he said some things that are not truthful, were very upsetting to me and were extremely negligent in his duty as a public servant and a fellow human being.

 

He knows the call was recorded as I told him towards the end of the call to clarify I had what he had just said on tape. He tried to call me a criminal and I put him right stating it was for my own records and I do not need his permission to record it nor do I need to tell him about it.

 

My concern is that he he now denying he said certain things(one of them was so outrageous I got him to repeat it to make sure that he had indeed said it) and wants me to provide a recording as part of the complaint so he can press charges or use it as leverage to make me try and drop it(the local papers would have a field day with it).

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I think you should call his bluff. There is nothing unlawful about recording telephone calls as an individual, or disclosing that as part of an official complaint.

 

The Ofcom website says 'Under RIPA it is a tort to record or monitor a communication unlawfully'. The key word is 'unlawfully'. The rules specified in the various pieces of legislation referred to on the Ofcom website set out a number of restrictions which apply conditions to the circumstances in which businesses and the government are entitled to record communications. These restrictions don't apply to individuals.

 

If the recording contains 'personal data' relating to the individual you spoke to, use of the recording would be subject to the requirements of the Data Protection Act. This allows you to use the recording subject to reasonable constraints. In short, you are allowed to disclose personal data under the DPA where that is needed for you to pursue your legitimate interests, except where there that is an unwarranted intrusion on the data subject. For example, it would be perfectly reasonable to disclose the recording or transcript to people dealing with your issue in order to prove what you were told over the phone, but it would not be reasonable to upload the recording onto youtube purely to make fun of this individual. Assuming you are using the recording sensibly I really don't see a problem.


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Go do it

 

I once got £350 out of a company solely on the reliance of a phone call tape via true call

 

I sent a transcript and the needed portion of audio on a CD

 

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I thought it was only a business that needed to state that calls are recorded?


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