Thursday, July 5, 2012

Is it legal to tape my phone calls?

Sometimes, perhaps when you are in a contractual dispute or a family breakdown situation, you may want to tape your own phones calls with other people so as to have a record of what was said.  You may want to make those recordings without letting the other person know you are taping them.  Is that legal?


Canada requires "one-party notification" - only one person in the conversation needs to be aware that the conversation is being taped.  In other words, the person taping the conversation must be part of the call.  If you are not part of the call and you tape it (what is often called bugging a telephone) you are committing a serious crime; but taping a call you are part of is perfectly legal.

Now, just because something is legal doesn’t mean it is very nice and judges are often quite negative about allowing taped phone calls to be used in court, especially in the family law context.  Nevertheless, such taping is lawful.


Anonymous said...

Why don't judges like it? You'd think that having more hard evidence would be a good thing.

Gene Rayburn said...

The judges might not like it because it's a bit of gaming the system. Sure, it's not a problem if you are the person that consented but if the shoe's on the other foot you might not be happy.

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