call recording and data protection

What Are The Facts About Call Recording & Data Protection

In the European Union and elsewhere, data protection legislation has a concrete effect on business processes involving call recording.

There are national laws with which to comply (e.g. the UK’s Data Protection Act DPA 1998), which are determined by supranational legislative acts (e.g. the European Commission’s Data Protection Directive DPD 1995). The DPD, for example, states that data should not be processed – i.e. used in any way – unless the processes:

  • are transparent
  • have a legitimate purpose
  • are proportional

How do companies record calls as part of their daily business ensure that these recording processes remain compliant?


A company is required by German law to provide callers with the choice to opt-out of having calls recorded. Using babelforce’s platform to handle the calls, there are two ways to do this: prior to the call recording starting and/or after the caller starts talking to the agent. To offer the opt-out before the call, you simply construct an IVR menu to provide this choice via touch tone input: e.g. the caller presses 1 if they do not want the call recorded.

Let’s say you now want to offer service in the UK as well as in Germany and process customer data over the phone. The UK’s DPA only requires that companies give a fair notice of consent to callers, usually in the form of an audio prompt informing the customer that their data will only be used for quality or training purposes. Because of normal consumer expectations in the UK, it is not common to offer the opt-out menu.

Instead of having to spend time and money on the new configuration, you can just configure the UK process straight on the call center platform and route calls based on the caller number, number dialed or based on data from your records for the customer. If the call is for the UK service, the call is automatically routed to a application which plays the recording announcement.

If the call is for the German service, the call is switched to the German process. The two routes exist together, and can be built and configured centrally.

Control of call recording apps

Another common data protection directive is to have control over recordings once they have been started and once stored. On the babelforce platform, you can give your agents and other employees the permissions to flag, tag, stop, resume and delete recordings as they happen. If it appears that a recording accidentally captures sensitive personal data, an agent can mark it for review or delete it.

Of course, the recordings can be tagged and integrated in real time with your help desk solution, allowing agents and managers to track, organise and measure their full call recording operation.

In order to allow you to implement your business processes, you have fine-grained control of what permissions are given to employees. In addition, you can integrate the recording processes with your other systems to give you the flexibility to implement almost any workflow.

The combination of IVR services, intelligent call routing and call recording control gives you the tools necessary to comply with data protection legislation, as well as grow across borders.

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