Laws governing the recording of telephone conversations vary by state. If you suspect your phone calls are being recorded without your consent, first determine whether your consent is legally required in your state. Determining whether a call is being recorded can be difficult, as modern digital recording techniques leave little trace for electronic equipment to identify. According to the Reporters' Committee for a Free Press, "it is almost always illegal" for individuals to record a conversation to which they are not a party, could not overhear by normal means and do not have permission to record.
Pay attention to recorded messages preceding your phone call to a company or government agency, as many provide disclosure that your call may be recorded. If you are alerted to the possibility that the call could be recorded, assume that it will be.
Listen for the sound of a regular beeping noise during the phone call. Some states require this audible signal to alert phone users that a recording is in progress.
Note any unusual and recurring crackling noises, clicks on the line or brief bursts of static during a call. These are indicators that someone is monitoring and possibly recording the conversation.
Ask the individual you are speaking with whether your call is being recorded. In some states it is a crime to record a conversation without alerting the other party to the call. This is not the same as consent, which means both parties give their permission to record. It simply means the person being recorded must be made aware that a recording is underway.
- Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images