Do I Need The Other Person’s Permission To Record A Conversation?
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There is a lot of misleading information out there about the law in Canada regarding recorded conversations. Some of that misinformation is as a result of American laws finding their way to Canadians through television shows and other mediums.
As it stands, the law in Canada states that it’s legal to record a conversation so long as one of the parties to the conversation consents. That means if you’re a party to the conversation, then you can legally record it, since you’re giving your consent. So, to be clear, you’re always allowed to record a conversation that you’re a party to without notifying the other party or parties or obtaining their consent.
However, the law is entirely different when the conversation in question is between other people, to which you’re not a party. As such, Canadian law makes a clear distinction between the legality of recording a conversation that you’re involved in, and one that you’re not. The Criminal Code of Canada codifies this rule by imposing a general prohibition on the recording of private communications, but then prescribes an exception where one of the parties to the conversation consents to its recording.
Police, and other state actors and authorities require prior judicial authorization to intercept private communications. Simply put, they need to get a warrant before they can eavesdrop or record any of your conversations, whether in person, over the telephone or online.