Employers have a right to monitor, or even record, business calls with software for recording phone calls completed on company equipment. However, there are some potential risks. The Electronic Communications Act ( modified in 2001), allows businesses to create a digital copy, as long as employees and people calling the business are aware such practices are, or may be, taking place. Every state has a unique set of legal requirements in addition to the federal guidelines. Some states require only one party is aware of the activities, and others require all parties on the call to give consent before recording starts.
You may be accidentally exposing yourself to legal challenges if you aren’t making sure your communication policies is up-to-date.
There are a number of reasons that businesses consider adding software for recording phone calls to a unified communications network. Whether is it a change primarily for improving training or monitoring compliance, or you want to maintain digital files as a mechanism to defend against legal challenges, it is imperative to initiate a policy that doesn’t compromise privacy or expose employees and the public to identity theft.
1. It is important not to assume your employees know your recording policy. Just because you use a prerecorded message in your automated call answering system, you should not assume employees are aware their conversations may be recorded. Failing to have a written policy outlined in the employee handbook and training manual could result in employees claiming their privacy has been compromised.
2. Protecting personal information is still vital. Giving consent to use software for recording phone calls is not the same as storing credit card information for future reference. One way to avoid potential risks is allowing agents in the all center to pause recording while customers relay sensitive information. Another way to address consumer concerns is to use masking technology within the software to record calls that prevents unauthorized access.
3. Failing to identify the caller’s locale could be a serious mistake. Companies who take calls from across the United States should understand that other regions may have different laws. If your call center is in Texas, which is a single-party consent state, and your caller is in California, which is a state that requires all parties to the conversation to give consent to record, there could still be a legal challenge in the future.
If possible, giving employees advanced notice and additional training on any system changes is the best route to take when implementing any major change in your communication protocol. Make sure your written policy covers things like whether or not employees should agree to let callers record conversations with their own devices. Even if consumers do not ask for permission, today, many callers will automatically record their own conversations – legally, or illegally – and employees should be made aware of this possibility.
If you are concerned about the risks associated with using software for recording phone calls as part of your business plan, contact an ATIS Digital software specialist today to discuss solutions to protect your clients and your assets.