Overview of California call recording laws

California Call Recording Laws: An Overview

Published on August 31, 2022
Venkat Sridhar
Content Writer, Rafiki.ai

In this article, we break down the California Call Recording Laws and what it means for salespeople like you.

Call recording is not something new to sales folks. Many of you might have recorded calls in the past because that’s the only way to keep track of everything your customers or prospects said. 

Now, even though there are no laws that define call recording as legal or illegal in most parts of the world, some countries(or states) have specific laws related to it. These laws particularly focus on the ‘consent’ and ‘purpose’ of call recordings. A state with stringent call recording laws is California. 

According to the California Call Recording Law -

“It is illegal to record calls without the consent of the parties participating in the call.”

When it comes to consent, there are 2 types of consent.

Single Party Consent vs. Two Party Consent

The stringency of California’s call recording laws can be best understood if you know what single-party consent and two-party consent mean. 

Single-party consent means that any one of the participants in the call should be aware that the call is being recorded. Around 38 states in the United States follow single-party consent. If you are a caller from any of these 38 states, it is not mandatory that you need to inform the other person on the call that the call is being recorded.

In a two-party consent state, that law states that all parties involved in the call should give their consent for recording. For example, California call recording laws.

Call recording laws vs. GDPR

Many people confuse California’s call recording laws with GDPR. This is quite understandable because both involve data. But the relationship starts and ends with the storage of data. Let us explain.

Call recording is simply a process of recording calls and storing all the call-related information. GDPR, on the other hand, focuses on protecting any form of data from any channel. GDPR’s goal is to set guidelines for getting consent and storing data in a way that does not tamper with the individual’s privacy.

There is another major difference between the two. Whenever you dial a business number, you might hear the automated message - “this call is being recorded for quality and training purposes.” Now, in case you stay on the line even after listening to the message, it means you have implied your consent for recording. Implied consent is allowed in most call recording laws.

On the other hand, GDPR does not allow any provision for implied consent. Businesses must obtain consent explicitly from the customer before storing any information. It usually involves asking the customer to press a button to approve the recording and another one to disapprove.

Also, GDPR allows customers to access recorded calls and the data stored by the company. If any customer asks for their data, the company is liable to submit it within 30 days, whereas no such rule is there in the call recording laws.

Purpose of Recording Calls

Now that we have seen everything about ‘Consent’, let’s move on to the other component of Recording Laws - ‘Purpose’. Here are top legitimate purposes for recording calls when it comes to sales - 

To identify problem areas

While talking to a customer, you might not be aware of where you went wrong that led to their dissatisfaction. The recording might help identify problem areas in that call and help you rectify them while talking to the same customer in the future.

Valuable records for tracking

Recorded calls are an extremely valuable source of information that can be fed into your company’s CRM. This information can then be used for tracking and follow-up activities that will eventually lead to the closing of the deal.

Evidence for disputes

Disputes in sales calls are quite common. During disputes, call recordings can come in handy as they act as solid evidence, thereby preventing the escalation of the dispute even further. 

Training purposes

Call recordings are also used as training material for new reps in the company. The recording can teach them how to approach a customer, convince them, and sell the product or service.

Tips to follow while recording calls

Your sales call recordings are useful only if they are clear and understandable. To ensure that, follow the below tips - 

Inform straightaway

Always start your conversations by saying that the call is being recorded. And don’t forget to cite the purpose of recording the call. It will help the other party be better aware of their speech.


It is not wise to let the recording do all the work for you. It’s always better to listen to what the customer has to say and ask all your questions right away. You are recording the conversation mainly to gather valuable information from it. Unless it covers everything you need to know, there is no point in recording the calls.

Do not mumble

A common mistake that many make is mumbling. This makes it very difficult to listen to and understand the conversation later. Hence makes sure that all the parties on the call are speaking clearly without any noise.

Have control over your tone

Do not be over-anxious or lethargic during the call. Both of them can have a devastating effect on the call outcome. But more importantly, they can make your call recording seem unclear and uninteresting. 

Call recording with Rafiki

Rafiki is a conversational intelligence software that lets you focus on calls while it records, transcribes, and captures key moments from it. Our customers use Rafiki for a variety of purposes, including training newly-hired members, identifying strengths and drawbacks of employees, search and scanning specific information in the call to name a few. All of Rafiki's customers use Rafiki's state-of-the-art insights from their customer conversations to build sales playbooks that win, compare meetings, understand conversation patterns, and even follow up with prospects post their meetings. Rafiki helps salespeople close more deals faster with confidence.

Rafiki complies with California Call Recording laws by providing users with various features and options to make sure that everyone in the call is aware that the call is being recorded. Within Rafiki's dashboard, you can also control which of your meetings get recorded so you have full control over the data you want Rafiki to analyze. Moreover, Rafiki is also SOC2 compliant ensuring that all data within Rafiki is tightly secured.

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