Legal recording requirement Blog Image

The illustrious mathematician (and accidental business sage) Lord Kelvin once remarked: “If you can not measure it, you can not improve it." Calls with your customers are no exception: each call not only serves a single customer but helps you build a picture of what your customers want.

Dialpad’s call recording and Vi analytics features can help you spot valuable insights like customer sentiment, trending keywords, competitor mentions, all transcribed, stored, and analyzed automatically—plus the ability to take a deeper dive into patterns you spot.

But here’s where it can get a bit tricky: How do you capture those customer insights while keeping compliant with laws and your customers’ expectations? In this post, we take a closer look at some key elements of recording compliance including the states where two-party consent is required.

Analytics Dashboard

Customer Calls in the Age of Big Data

Call recordings might be great for training or keeping a permanent record of a call, but all the valuable data of the call? It’s still locked up as sounds on tape (well, on a hard drive).

To spot trends, measure them, and learn from them means taking advantage of modern business phone systems like Dialpad, which enables not only recording, but transcription and real-time analytics to know how your call is going—and how to improve it—right as it’s happening.

Conversation Insights

Vi tells you more than just what was said: It pulls out insights, makes recommendations, and surfaces next steps to help you have better conversations.

From Recording to Transcription to Real-Time Assistance

Call recording laws were written in the 20th century, long before smartphones, let alone Dialpad’s industry-leading real-time transcription and analytics. Laws differ from state to state and country to country, and most of them don’t distinguish between recording and transcription. Some jurisdictions, like California and New York, use terms like “interception” or “overhearing”. The potential for distinctions among these various terms might be fodder for interesting legal cases, but for businesses, they all point the same way: Don’t be clever, just be compliant.

That’s why we recommend the simple rule of thumb of giving the same notification whether you’re recording or transcribing. No change to your existing agent training, and you get more benefit from it.

One Party vs. All Party Consent

Usually it’s enough that one person on the call knows it’s being recorded or transcribed. In these “one party consent” jurisdictions, no additional notification is required when your employees are recording or transcribing a call. In a minority of US states, however, and in some countries, both parties to the call need to be aware, and that means notification. Whether by a pre-recorded voice or done live by your employee, the message is the same: This call may be recorded.

Inbound Calling

When your customers call you, they increasingly know what to expect: “This call may be recorded for quality and training purposes” This disclosure is now a fixture of the landscape, like touch tone phone trees and mediocre hold music, and for good reason: Clear notification of potential call recording keeps you in the clear.

Inbound Calls

Your preferences for call recording can be set on a per-call-center basis: Whether to record, whether to play an automated notification, and what notification to play. You can also upload a custom notification.

Outbound Calling

We would all love to live in a world where all our customers came to us. But usually, you have to call them. And if you’re capturing that call data with call recording or transcription, that means making sure they know they’re on the record. That’s why Dialpad includes detailed settings so you can customize call recording in a way that works for your business, including automating the notification.

Prefer not to mess with the call recording/transcription notification? We can automate that, too: Dialpad’s exception list feature lets you identify area codes to automatically skip recording and transcription when calling (or when being called). No recording, no notification, no sweat.

Outbound Calls

Outbound calls have all the same options as inbound calls, including the exception list.

And yes, you can enable your agents to go off the record if needed, for instance if they are receiving a payment card number or other sensitive information.

Pause Recordings

Notification Requirements by Jurisdiction

Sure, laws change, but everyone needs somewhere to start. We’ve put together the following list to smooth out the ambiguities and give you a practical perspective on which states require which notification. Your use case may be different and we’re your phone company, not your lawyer, so use this as a starting point and talk to friendly local telecommunications lawyer if you need more details.

Notification Requirements by Jurisdiction

One Party Consent States





District of Columbia

















New Jersey

New Mexico

North Carolina

North Dakota





Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota






West Virginia



All-Party Consent States










New Hampshire