Is recording a phone call in Spain legal? What penalty can you have?

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Marie-Ange Demory

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One of the most recent tools that new mobile applications have made available to any user is that of being able record a phone call , regardless of the type of cell phone it is made of.

However, within the territory of Spain, there are certain conditions that a person who wishes to record a call and disseminate this information must meet. If not, this action carries severe penalties for those who violate these conditions.

For this reason, here we will show you if it is legal to record a phone call in Spain and, if not, what sanctions they can perform this action.

    How to record mobile phone calls?

    Given the reasons we need to do this, the recording of phone calls it is a useful tool. Whether for legal or business reasons, we can record incoming or outgoing calls from our phone.

    There is a difference when recording a call from one Android smartphone and an operating system in terms of ease. On Android devices this is easy to do, as this option will be available once the call is initiated. You just have to accept the call and in the options menu while the connection time is in progress, mark the recording call. Or if not, mark the icon to record calls. The amount of time you have recorded the call will appear on the screen.

    At the end of the registration, we will press the call recording icon again to complete the process, this recording will appear in the audio folder. We will access it from the file explorer, identifying the folder and at the time of entry it will be registration.

    On ¡OS devices it gets a little tricky, since ¡Phone doesn't have a direct option to do this. One trick to record calls without using apps is to include your phone number in the call. You need to save your number in the phone book and then have established a phone call that you want to record.

    You need to mark the option "Add call" and we look for the contact that we keep with our phone number and we will dial it, in that third number a call will start that will be recorded in the voicemail. The previous call will be put on hold after calling your number, but we will press the Merge call option. And voila, this will allow calls to merge and reconnect the held call. The conversation will be saved as a voicemail on your iPhone smartphone.

    Applications to record calls and conversations

    To record calls there are a good number of apps for this purpose. We must bear in mind that some of these have additional costs, but also special features.

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    L'app Rev Call Recorder è app free for iPhone call recording and is available in the Apple App Store. It has no cost or advertising, registration is unlimited and free for both outgoing and incoming calls.

    Rev Call Recorder has an extra transcription option for incoming and outgoing calls. All at a cost of $ 1,25 per minute of audio. This means that you can return any audio or text, which is important when it comes to interviews or research.

    Automatic call recorder It is a recording app for our android phones. It allows us to record any incoming and outgoing calls automatically and on a scheduled basis with high quality.

    The TapeACall Pro application , an iPhone app that has the ability to record ongoing or incoming calls. The recordings are displayed when finished and can be played, saved or shared. It has a 7 day free trial period.

    Cube RTA is among the best apps of this year. It has a file explorer to manage your recordings, play them, delete them or export them.

    Automatic call recorder , allows you to record any incoming and outgoing calls. a high quality app optimized for Android. Which you can customize to receive and record as many times as you want.

    We also have l'app Truecaller with caller ID and spam blocker. Helps to identify unknown numbers, spam or business numbers. It gives us the ability to block the numbers we want and automatically the sales numbers.

    With the evolution of telephony platforms and the current rise of smartphones, any user has the necessary tools that allow him to record calls made on a mobile phone, regardless of its operating system, as calls can also be recorded in the WhatsApp application. Hence the possibility of leave a copy of calls made or received it is a reality.

    However, while the ability to record a phone call is available to anyone, there are a number of conditions you need to take into account in case you want to do so. If not, it would be illegal to record a phone call in Spain .

    So generally it is not legal to record phone calls in Spain and in other countries of the world. These types of recordings are considered illegal because they directly violate the right to privacy in communications.

    Therefore, a phone call in Spain is considered legal only if the parties participating in it express this consent during registration and assume responsibility for what is expressed in the recorded call.

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    Rules or laws for recording phone calls in Spain and other countries

    When recording phone calls, you need to consider that there are special laws or regulations for this. Although in general we have to make these recordings by consensus , there may be exceptions.

    The rules allow us to record conversations of which we are a part and in no case a conversation of third parties. Well, there are the following laws that deal with this type of case.

    First place, the 11/1984 sentence of the judicial court , which gives the right to record the conversations in which we participate. In the same sense, it is forbidden to record third-party conversations.

    Well, if we do, we will violate the Right to Privacy and the protection of the Secret of Communications. Both are found in Article 18 of the Spanish constitution. Likewise, the organic law on data protection also exists.

    When it is legal and illegal to record a conversation without asking for consent

    Call recording gives you the ability to demonstrate what the person actually said during the call. But from a legal point of view, it becomes illegal when we don't participate in it.

    Recording of phone calls is completely legal, as long as consent is required to do so. Or failing that, we are part of it, but we cannot in any way record third party calls. Since we are in violation of Article 18,3 EC , violating the privacy rights of others.

    Only in special cases, for example, in which a licensing judge to record a third party conversation we can do so. The case belongs to certified private investigators who are free to do so.

    Also, it can be done if they are collected for the exercise of public administrations . when they refer to the parties to a business contract or an interest good.

    Based on the fact that the recording of telephone calls in Spain and the dissemination of their content without authorization of the people who participated in it is illegal and carries severe penalties; there are some cases where it is legal to record a phone call in Spain.

    In this way, the best case in which you can go and record an incoming call on your iOS or Android device, is by agreeing with the person who called you that you will make said recording. So, if anyone were to listen to this recording, those who attended are aware that such information could be disclosed.

    If, on the other hand, you believe that the call you are participating in is taking on a violent tone or you feel attacked , you believe you are the victim of some kind of extortion or scam , you can proceed to record a phone call without consulting the other participant.

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    In the latter case, we recommend that once the phone call has ended, and therefore the registration of the same, you go to the competent authorities and show them said registration explaining what happened, without fear of suffering any kind of sanction in Spanish territory.

    Penalty for recording calls without consent

    Due to the legal implications of recording phone calls, this service was only available to people who had a security position. However, with the evolution of mobile devices and phone platforms, nowadays any user can record phone calls from Android or iOS. Therefore, some sanctions have been developed if the conditions for this process are not met.

    Therefore, while call recording is not initially a crime, this action becomes a crime the moment it is the recording is transmitted . This is because communications privacy is compromised, which goes against Spanish data protection law.

    Likewise, the action of transmitting a recorded call without the consent of both parties violates the Article 197 of the Spanish Penal Code , which is particularly aimed at regulating and protecting people's information.

    Therefore, if that condition is violated, the person could be punished with a prison sentence of 1 to 4 years a depending on the violation of rights carried out. You may also face a penalty of one year or three months depending on the details that are exposed in the recorded call.

    Can records of non-consensual calls be transmitted?

    According to the latest reform of the penal code, Article 197,7 , it is emphasized that it is a crime to disseminate such material. While it is legal to record the calls we participate in, it is illegal to transmit this material. Well, the sanction will be from three months to one year of imprisonment, in the event of disclosure or disclosure of third party data.

    When can they be used as legal evidence?

    The use of these recordings is relevant as long as the conversation that will take place will be carried out by the person showing the test. And according to what has already been said, you were a participant in the conversation or you have a special exception for doing so.

    Other than that, we must keep in mind that all conversation must be spontaneous. Well, any kind of deception that could lead anyone we are registering to provide us with important data will render it useless as proof.

    They become useless when you are not a participant in the conversation. And this is based on purely personal or family content and the lack of vital interest in the person concerned.

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