Is it legal to record calls?

Is it legal to record calls in the United Kingdom?

In the United Kingdom, the legality of recording telephone conversations is governed by a combination of regulations, including the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice)(Interception of Communications) Regulations 2000, and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA).

For individuals, recording conversations for personal use is generally not illegal. Problems arise when such recordings are shared with third parties without consent. In some cases, consent can be obtained after the fact or can be justified in the public interest, such as in journalism. However, recording conversations without knowledge and then providing them to a third party without consent can be a legal issue.


Allowed purposes for businesses

For businesses, there are stricter laws. Under the Telecommunications Regulations 2000 and GDPR, businesses can record calls without explicit consent for certain purposes, such as:

  • Providing evidence of a business transaction.
  • Ensuring compliance with regulatory procedures.
  • Ensuring that quality standards are met.
  • Preventing or detecting crime.
  • Securing the effective operation of the telecom system.

However, the recordings must be handled according to GDPR principles, ensuring lawful, fair, and transparent processing, and kept no longer than necessary. Businesses should also inform the parties involved in the call about the recording and their rights under GDPR. It’s considered good practice to notify callers of recording through automated messages or operator scripts, even though it’s not legally required in all cases.



Businesses must also be registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office if they are storing personal data obtained from call recordings. This is important for compliance with data protection laws.


Inform employees

Employers recording calls or meetings at work should ideally obtain the consent of employees and should have clear policies regarding call recording. Employees should be informed about when and why their calls are being recorded.


Summary and sources

In summary, while it is legal to record phone calls in the UK under certain conditions, the key considerations are consent, the purpose of the recording, compliance with data protection laws, and transparent communication about recording practices. For more detailed information, you can refer to the sources like Call Centre Helper​​, Infolegal​​, New Business​​, and DMA Law​​.


Call recording is included for free with Sonetel’s Premium and Business plans.
Please note that this information is gathered from public sources that may be incorrect or out of date. We cannot guarantee that this information is correct. To get a full picture of the legalities related to call recording we suggest that you get legal advice.