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Recording A Meeting

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I wonder if anyone can offer some advice here please.

My father and his friend attended a Trustee meeting recently and it later transpired that the meeting had been recorded without them being informed. This had never happened at any previous meeting. This recording was used to produce detailed minutes of the meeting. My father did notice a piece of electronic equipment on the table but presumed it was just a mobile phone,

The background to all this is that there is an ongoing disagreement and argument within the Trust. You could argue that while everyone else knew the meeting was being recorded and answered knowing that, my father and his friend did not and were therefore placed in a very unfair position.

What I would basically like to know is whether the practice of recording such a meeting without informing everyone present is legal.

Any advice gratefully appreciated.

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I wonder if anyone can offer some advice here please.

My father and his friend attended a Trustee meeting recently and it later transpired that the meeting had been recorded without them being informed. This had never happened at any previous meeting. This recording was used to produce detailed minutes of the meeting. My father did notice a piece of electronic equipment on the table but presumed it was just a mobile phone,

The background to all this is that there is an ongoing disagreement and argument within the Trust. You could argue that while everyone else knew the meeting was being recorded and answered knowing that, my father and his friend did not and were therefore placed in a very unfair position.

What I would basically like to know is whether the practice of recording such a meeting without informing everyone present is legal.

Any advice gratefully appreciated.

In my experience, your father would have to have consented to the recording before the meeting began.

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Surely you would have been careful in what he said in a meeting anyway?

Yes but even more careful in the knowledge that the meeting was being recorded. When you know you are in an area with speed cameras you tend to be a tad more aware.

Being informed that you are being recorded also sets the tone. This is now a formal meeting and you can ask the reasoning for recording. You can often ask for a copy in advance and if declined you can refuse to have the meeting.

I would be pissed if I was recorded without my knowledge.

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Reminds me of an embarrassing meeting I had many years ago.

I was a regional sales manager for a company and needed to recruit a few salesmen. A chap answered the ad in his local paper and I arranged to meet him in a pub near to his home.

The interview went well and I was just about to offer him the job when he said "what's that ticking noise? It seems to be coming from your case". I looked in my briefcase, which was open on the table, and found my dictating machine had turned on, run out of tape and was making the noise. I explained that the switch must have knocked against something and turned it on, but the look he gave me was one of disbelief. I decided that no amount of explanation was likely to convince him that it was a genuine accident so changed my mind about offering him the job.

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I'm pretty sure that the making the recording is illegal, but am equally sure that the authorities would not take any action unless someone tries to copy, distribute or publish it without your father's consent.

Assuming that he's actually a member of the Board, he can dispute the minutes when the time comes to vote to approve them at the next meeting anyway. The recording won't form an official record of the meeting and will have no legally recognised status - the written minutes will. I have been on the Board of Directors of a professional body since 2006 and cannot recall one member ever voting against approving the minutes (though it is common practice to abstain if you did not attend the minuted meeting, because you cannot know whether the minutes are a complete and correct record or not). The general form is that a draft is circulated between meetings, comments/corrections/tweaks requested, a second version is drafted and then that is voted on at the next meeting. If anyone ever did vote against approving them, it would demonstrate a very serious split within the Board and raise eyebrows in the event of any formal enquiry into its activities and decisions.

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Well they state it clearly when onto the phone to a call centre - so I imagine there is a legal requirement.

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Only one party to the conversation needs to know about it being recorded. If both don't know then that's wrong.

With meetings - don't know.

Did he say anything he wished he hadn't said on tape?

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I looked into this when I wanted to record phone calls, and you can do it without informing the other party but it cannot be used in a court of law. It can however be used to produce notes from after the phone call.

I believe you should be notified if it was recorded, and you are entitled to a copy of the minutes.

If I were you I would write asking for a copy of the verbatim - forcing someone to write out every single word said during the meeting. My sister is a PA and regularly notes takes in meetings, but writes verbatim so writes word for word - yes she's dam quick at typing.

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If I were you I would write asking for a copy of the verbatim - forcing someone to write out every single word said during the meeting. My sister is a PA and regularly notes takes in meetings, but writes verbatim so writes word for word - yes she's dam quick at typing.

Does she use a stenotype machine or a normal keyboard?

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My father did notice a piece of electronic equipment on the table but presumed it was just a mobile phone,

It probably was a mobile. A meeting I go to is always recorded on a mobile phone.

I'm not sure on the legality here. You can video people in public, because there isn't any implied private space. Unlike in someone's back garden for example. But you can't record audio without permission, because that is still a breach of privacy whether in public or not.

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Thanks for all the advice and comments. It would seem that for the purpose it was used i.e minute writing that it was legal. Having said that it is all very underhand and a pretty grubby thing to do. The Trustees constituents will look very unfavourably on this episode at AGM time.

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I looked into this when I wanted to record phone calls, and you can do it without informing the other party but it cannot be used in a court of law. It can however be used to produce notes from after the phone call.

I believe you should be notified if it was recorded, and you are entitled to a copy of the minutes.

If I were you I would write asking for a copy of the verbatim - forcing someone to write out every single word said during the meeting. My sister is a PA and regularly notes takes in meetings, but writes verbatim so writes word for word - yes she's dam quick at typing.

I'd say the same, in Union problems the notes are the only evidence that result from a recording, they provide a recollection and the recording has no value.

Edit: The notes made from a recording.

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Does she use a stenotype machine or a normal keyboard?

Normal keyboard I think. She did say she spends probably just as long as the meeting straight after finishing it off, as lots of errors are made etc.

I also have an app on my phone which can record conversations, if anyone rings stating something I can always stop them and remind them I am recording the conversation - it puts them straight onto the back foot, especially when you know it's going to be a difficult conversation. I originally did this when someone drove into me, and their insurance company hounded me trying to get me to admit liability (I won of course).

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Reminds me of an embarrassing meeting I had many years ago.

I was a regional sales manager for a company and needed to recruit a few salesmen. A chap answered the ad in his local paper and I arranged to meet him in a pub near to his home.

The interview went well and I was just about to offer him the job when he said "what's that ticking noise? It seems to be coming from your case". I looked in my briefcase, which was open on the table, and found my dictating machine had turned on, run out of tape and was making the noise. I explained that the switch must have knocked against something and turned it on, but the look he gave me was one of disbelief. I decided that no amount of explanation was likely to convince him that it was a genuine accident so changed my mind about offering him the job.

There should be a deprocating icon for that....

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