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Federal law 18 U S C 2511(2)(d) defines the overall right of one involved person to record telephone calls and/or in-person conversations. If Peter and Paul are talking to one another, either may be taping using audio, video, or both (without the expressed consent of the other) to record the interaction. Certain federal and state wiretapping laws may somewhat limit your ability, e.g., calls between one state and another or when the recording device is hidden (Hawaii), but others actually extend the rights; e.g., when a private citizen exercises his/her First Amendment rights and tapes police or public officials (Remember “Rodney King?” California is a two-party state; however, the video tape was well within the law) or when a third person makes the recording with permission from only one of the direct participants. (The guy sitting next to you in a restaurant and recording what he overhears.). In cases where conversation is taking place between multiple people (more than two), for instance a Board meeting, all must be made aware of the recording.
There are 16 states that have very specific two-party consent legislation. Peter: “Hello Paul, this is Peter. May I have your permission to record this conversation? Paul: “Yes. You may do so.”[color-box color=”gray”]
STATES WITH “ONE PARTY CONSENT” FOR AUDIO RECORDING:
|District of Columbia|
STATES WITH “TWO PARTY CONSENT” FOR AUDIO RECORDING:
Video recordings are more loosely interpreted. While it’s mostly a free-for-all — if you can see it in a public setting, you can tape it — rights to record have been extended in private situations where children, elderly, or the disabled are concerned. (e.g. nanny cams or nursing home cams.)