Before you secretly record any phone or in-person conversation, you should consider what law may apply and the potential ramifications.  Depending on the state, you could face criminal penalties for not obtaining the consent of each participant.   

Georgia has a “one-party consent” wiretapping law for audio recordings of conversations.  You cannot secretly record a phone or in-person conversation which “originate[s] in any private place” unless one party to the conversation consents.  See O.C.G.A. §§ 16-11-62(1), 16-11-66.  You can record a conversation if you are a party to the conversation or obtain permission from one of the parties.  Note:  Each state has its own rules, and some states require the consent of everyone involved in a conversation before it can be recorded.  If you are considering recording a phone conversation with parties in different states, you should not assume Georgia’s rule would apply.  The safest bet would be to get consent of all parties before recording to avoid any potential violations.   

The law is different for secret video recordings.  In Georgia, it is a crime to use a device to “observe, photograph, or record the activities of another which occur in any private place and out of the public view” unless the person making the recording gets the consent of all persons observed.  O.C.G.A. § 16-11-62(2).  Violations of Georgia’s wiretapping rules (via phone or video) can result in criminal prosecution and also expose you to potential damages in a civil lawsuit.   

Please contact us if you have any further questions or need assistance with a legal matter. 

Resources:  (Georgia wiretapping, eavesdropping, and surveillance statutes)