Legal Question in Telecomm Law in Florida

This is in regards to Florida being a two-party consent state with regard to recording phone calls. I have five questions:

1. If you don't record it, but you're in a public place and your volume is loud enough to be overheard and someone else records it, is that person's recording admissible evidence in court? Is this at all affected by whether or not there was obvious intent to circumvent the consent law?

2. Are you allowed to write down the entire transcript of your phone calls, and if not, where is the line drawn to what's acceptable note-taking, and if so, does that include having your phone calls transcribed from speech to text by, instead of writing it down manually, having an application automatically do it?

3. Are consent laws applicable based on the area code of the caller, or physical location? If one party is in a one-party state and the other is in a two-party state, whose laws apply to whom?

4. If the other party notifies you that they are recording, is that considered consent to record them as well?

5. If speech-to-text transcription of calls is allowable but audio recording is not, what are provisions regarding the temporary in-memory data where audio recordings of the call are stored before being transcribed (since all audio is translated into bits of data which is copied many times between RAM and CPU cache in order to be processed by a computer regardless of whether or not you intend to save it in persistent storage such as a hard disk)?

Asked on 1/29/16, 12:47 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Alan Wagner Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore P.A.

In my judgment, and as I understand the relevant law:

1. No.

2. you can write it down; you cannot use speech transcription software -- that is recording the conversation.

3. Physical location

4. Yes, because you can hang up or stop talking.

5. Speech to text transcription involves recording the conversation digitally. It is not allowed.

This is a rapidly changing area of the law, so before you do anything you should check with a lawyer in some manner other than a free advice site.

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Answered on 3/06/16, 8:26 am

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