The Uses and Potential Legality of Covert Recording

This article is merely an opinion piece and it is not intended to constitute legal advice or to guarantee the legality of recording others covertly. Please contact a lawyer if you have questions about the use of covert recordings.

Audio recording apps are so commonplace on smartphones and tablets that many people have begun to covertly record happenings, such as workplace disputes. The legality of this is called into question often, so it's important to know what the rules are for covert recording in your state before you can use it to your advantage.

As a rule, people in public places must assume they might be recorded. In general, you can record what you hear in public places, even if you don't have specific consent from the people being recorded, given that you are not harassing them. In regards to private conversations between individuals, there is no law that prohibits it. Problems happen when that recording gets used in a public environment, like playing back the recording for other people without consent. Some states have laws where recording people without consent can have serious consequences, but in other states it's permissible, so always do your research before proceeding.

Keeping that in mind, you may wonder if covert recordings or their transcripts can be used as evidence in a court of law. Generally, each case needs to be looked at individually and it is usually up to the discretion of the judge if a recording or transcript can be used as evidence. The judge must give clear reasons to back up their decision either way. Because recordings can often have background noise that make them difficult to understand, getting a professional transcript of the recording provides a clear, accurate record of the conversation, without any interference. If you are in need of transcription services for your recordings, contact Connecticut Secretary today!

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