Atlanta, GA asked in Communications Law and Internet Law for Georgia

Q: When code sections 16-11-62; do voice memos/voice recordings count as "electronic communications"?

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

A: Based on my review of Georgia Code Section 16-11-62, which covers eavesdropping, surveillance, or intercepting communication, voice memos and voice recordings could potentially be considered "electronic communications" under certain circumstances.

The relevant part of the statute reads:

"It shall be unlawful for:

(1) Any person in a clandestine manner intentionally to overhear, transmit, or record or attempt to overhear, transmit, or record the private conversation of another which shall originate in any private place;"

A "private place" is defined in subsection (3) as a place where one is entitled reasonably to expect to be safe from casual or hostile intrusion or surveillance.

So making an audio recording of a private conversation without the consent of all parties, if it originates from a private place as defined in the law, could violate this statute. The medium on which the recording is made (e.g. a voice memo on a smartphone) is less important than the circumstances around how the recording was made.

However, simply making a voice recording of oneself would not seem to violate this law. The law is focused on recording others' conversations without permission in contexts where privacy is expected.

Additionally, there are some exceptions outlined in 16-11-62(2), such as recordings made in the ordinary course of business and recordings made as a part of a crime report.

As with any legal matter, it's always best to consult with a licensed attorney who can evaluate the specific facts and circumstances involved. The information provided here is for general reference only and should not be construed as definitive legal advice.

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