Surely on some occasion when calling customer service you have heard a voiceover warning that the call may be recorded. In line with that, It’s normal to wonder If between individuals it is possible to make a recording of the call. Well, for technical purposes, yes. In the legal matter, there are already more conditions.

It is possible to record calls on Android phones, although in the end everything depends on the legality of the country you are in. As far as Spain is concerned, This is regulated by the penal code in a section in which, apart from calls, it also refers to other communications that are established, among others, with mobile phones.

Problematic recordings are those in which you do not participate

As we said in the introduction, call recording is contemplated in Spanish law and more specifically in Article 197.1 of the Penal Code. In that section we talk about crimes of Discovery and disclosure of secretssomething in which this type of recording comes into play.

Of course, what is typified is appropriate and/or expose other people’s communications without consent. The paragraph literally says the following:

“Whoever, to discover the secrets or violate the privacy of another, without their consent, seizes their papers, letters, email messages or any other documents or personal effects or intercept your telecommunications or use technical devices to listen, transmit, record or reproduce sound or image, or any other communication signal

Recording other people’s calls without consent is a crime regardless of whether the purpose is lawful (unless authorized by a judge).

This refers to intercepting communications in which we do not actively participate. That is, through any application or dedicated system we proceed to record other people’s conversations. In those cases, the executioner would face prison sentences of one to four years and fines ranging from 12 to 24 months. And that is in the best of cases, since the sentences would increase to prison terms of two to five years if these recordings are also “disseminated, revealed or transferred to third parties.”

Yes, there is a certain permissibility in these facts to intercept other people’s calls without the need for consent and that is that authorized by a judge as evidence of a possible crime that can be used in a trial. However, this is a task that ultimately falls more to the police forces, given that it is not common for a judge to grant this permission to an individual.

Therefore, the bottom line in this regard is that you will have to ask permission from both parties and have their full consent. If you do not have this, it will be illegal even if the reason for intercepting the conversation is legal as evidence in a trial or similar.

Recording calls in which you participate does not even require consent

You will have noticed that in the previous section we refer to calls in which we are not participating, regardless of how we intercept them. Well then, in the event that we participate in the callthings change a lot.

In these cases no crime is contemplated in the recording and the penalties explained above have no value as in this case a crime is not constituted by the act itself and regardless of whether you have previously notified and how you save these recordings.

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The problem comes with the dissemination of these recordings without permission of the conversation participant(s). In this case it is equal to the previous case and it constitutes a crime of revealing secrets that, as we said previously, can carry sentences of two to five years in prison. All

Summary: You can record calls in which you participate, but not expose them without permission. Likewise, and reviewing what was mentioned in the previous point, recording calls in which you are not an active party is a crime in any case if you do not have permission from the parties.

Android does not allow it natively and is already very strict with third-party apps

Just a few months ago we already reviewed in Android Google’s position regarding call recording in its mobile operating system. The idea we are left with is that they don’t want Android to use these features And so we have seen how they have gradually become more and more strict.

Natively there was never a functionality that allowed call recording or not, at least in a simple way. However, there was a certain open bar for developers to publish their applications dedicated to it on Google Play. Of course, always requiring Android accessibility permissions to be able to do so.

Google does not allow call recording apps in its store, but there are still them (they are also in APK stores on the Internet)

A year and a half ago, in May 2022, Google became even more serious and issued a ban on publishing applications that use accessibility services to record calls. This meant that many well-known applications for this function left the Google store.

Call Apps

Example of an app that records calls and is still on Google Play, although now it focuses more on recording calls on WhatsApp, Telegram, Skype and other messaging apps

Of course, as contradictory as it may be, We continue to find some apps that break this rule. And we are not just referring to those that can be downloaded through APKs on the Internet, but in the Google Play Store itself there are still examples of applications that are not only advertised for the purpose of recording calls, but also function as such when downloaded. .

Therefore, according to what was previously commented on legality, You can use these applications to record calls in which you participate provided that you do not later use them to expose them publicly or to any third party. In principle, no matter how much Google tries to block these apps, it has no power to block third-party APKs. And that is if you download them from outside, since if you resort to the ones on Google Play, the problem is Google itself for continuing to allow them and not yours for downloading them (although perhaps one day they will disappear and be left without update support via Google Play).

Via | Dexia Lawyers

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