San Diego, CA asked in Business Law, Consumer Law, Civil Rights and Communications Law for California

Q: Can a business in California record phone calls without the caller knowing.

I live in a student housing complex in the San Diego area and was wondering if there were any legal repercussions to a business for recording phone calls without the calling party’s consent. When calling this company there is never a message that notify’s the caller that the call is being recorded. Being a property management company many financial, health, and other personal information is said throughout these conversations, which I feel the caller should know is being recorded. This company has most likely received tens of thousands of phone calls that have been recorded without any of the callers knowing the conversation was recorded.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, recording phone calls without the consent of all parties involved is generally prohibited. California is known as a "two-party consent" state, as outlined in the California Penal Code Section 632. This means that for a phone conversation to be legally recorded, all parties involved in the call must be aware of and consent to the recording.

In your situation, if the property management company is recording calls without notifying callers, this could potentially be a violation of California law. The lack of a notification or warning that calls are being recorded is a key factor in determining legality.

Given the sensitivity of the information often shared in calls with a property management company, such as financial or health information, the need for consent becomes even more crucial. Violations of this law can lead to legal repercussions for the business, including potential civil litigation.

If you have concerns about this practice, you might consider seeking legal advice to explore options for addressing the situation. Additionally, raising awareness about the issue within the affected community can also be an effective way to approach this matter.

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