It is legal in the UK to record one’s own telephone conversations for personal use, and there is no legal obligation to inform the other person or persons that their words are being recorded. UK laws and codes of practice, such as the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000), and the Telecommunications Regulations (2000), are mainly concerned with recordings made for security surveillance (‘telephone tapping’) or various monitoring and market research activities, where the recordists are not being recorded themselves.
However it is unlawful to make telephone interview recordings available to anyone else without the permission of the speakers. If telephone interviews are to be deposited in a public collection or made available for research or any other purpose, all this should be explained in detail by the interviewer before the interview starts. Arrangements should be made for interviewees to sign recording agreements (perhaps by post or email), or at the very least the interviewee should state clearly in the recording that he or she agrees to the uses described by the interviewer.Close window