Eavesdropping under California law – Penal code 632

I have always wondered where it says you cannot record a telephone conversation.  It’s California Penal Code section 632(a), called eavesdropping.

CHAPTER 1.5. Invasion of Privacy [630 – 638.55]

(a) A person who, intentionally and without the consent of all parties to a confidential communication, uses an electronic amplifying or recording device to eavesdrop upon or record the confidential communication, whether the communication is carried on among the parties in the presence of one another or by means of a telegraph, telephone, or other device, except a radio, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) per violation, or imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment. . . . .

What is all of that in English?

1.  The conversation must be “confidential” meaning at least one of the parties “desires it to be confined to the parties thereto,” Penal Code section 632(c) which specifically carves out conversations in a public gathering.

2.  The recording of the conversation must be without the consent of all parties to the conversation.  I wonder if the statement you hear while waiting on the phone that “this conversation may be recorded” constitutes consent by all parties.  It must be since it happens so often.

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