Novel Class Actions Seek Application of California Eavesdropping Law to Ordinary Course of Business Telephone Monitoring and Recording
November 10, 2006
Every day, hundreds of thousands of consumer product and service companies monitor or record their own telephone calls with customers. But several plaintiff class action lawyers have filed cases recently alleging that companies violate certain state privacy statutes by monitoring or recording their own telephone calls with consumers in the ordinary course of business. Almost all of these cases have been filed in California state and federal court, and rely on Section 632(a) of the California Invasion of Privacy Act ("CIPA"), which prohibits any person from eavesdropping upon or recording a telephone call without the consent of all parties to the call. Federal law, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2510 et seq., expressly authorizes ordinary course of business telephone monitoring and recording, exempting this conduct from the federal wiretapping regime. In addition to California, eleven other states and Puerto Rico have "two party consent" telephone recording and eavesdropping statutes, many of which contain an express exception for business call monitoring. CIPA provides for civil fines and a private cause of action, while a number of the other state "two-party consent" statutes do not.

Please follow the link below for more information about CIPA and how it applies to businesses.