Calif. High Court Says All Recorded Cell Calls Need Consent

By Dave Simpson (April 1, 2021, 10:49 PM EDT) -- Both parties and nonparties must get consent from everyone on a cellular or wireless phone call before making a recording, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday, reversing an appellate court's finding that only third-party eavesdroppers must get consent.

The unanimous decision, penned by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, agreed with plaintiff Jeremiah Smith that Section 632.7 of the California Penal Code requires all participants on a phone call to consent to a recording, overturning a 2019 ruling from the Fourth Appellate District.

"This interpretation reflects the most sensible reading of the statutory text, is consistent with the relevant legislative history, and...

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