In California, it’s a crime to eavesdrop or record confidential information without the consent of the parties involved. If someone is recording you without your knowledge, you always have a reasonable expectation that no one is listening to your conversation. If later you come to learn they recorded your information, you may have a right to file a lawsuit. Different states have different ways when it comes to dealing with eavesdropping and call recordings. If anyone has recorded your information as a group without your consent in California, you may file a civil lawsuit to compensate for the damages suffered. While you file a lawsuit for invasion of your privacy, it’s good to understand that not every phone recording is illegal.

Understanding Eavesdropping In California

When one overhears recording or amplifying one’s private conversation or communication of others without their consent, he/she can be said to be eavesdropping. Private conversation means that the parties to the communication want it to be confined within themselves. California is a two-party consent state where all the parties involved in a communication must give consent for their information to be recorded by someone. In such a case, if someone has recorded your phone call or any other conversation, the best way to handle such a situation could be to contact class action attorneys in Los Angeles. These attorneys can guide you on the best way to hold the eavesdropper liable for their actions. Some of the instances where there is an invasion of privacy could be:

  • A court hearing conference: An individual can only record information with permission from the judge. They must obtain a request to do so three days in advance. But the court has the discretion of whether to grant or deny the request.
  • Public gatherings: One may be allowed to record communications in a public meeting in California only if the act doesn’t disrupt the meeting.

Other examples where it’s illegal to eavesdrop or record information would:

  • Record organisational meetings where a few employees and employers meet for a talk
  • Record information involving security personnel
  • Record information from spouses discussing important marital issues

If someone has intruded into your rights by recording your private conversation, he/she not only risks having a criminal conviction but also paying damages suffered by the parties involved.

How Do I Prove Eavesdropping?

California is known for its stringent laws on the invasion of privacy through eavesdropping or recording conversations. For one to be convicted of an eavesdropping crime, the prosecutor must prove that:

  • The eavesdropper recorded the conversation intentionally
  • The conversation was deemed to be confidential
  • The eavesdropper used an electronic device such as a telephone, laptop, or any other gadget deemed fit to record the information or conversation.
  • The eavesdropper had no consent of all parties involved in the conversation.

If you have suffered as a group, it would be better to file a class-action lawsuit to have one valid claim against the defendant. This will also help in obtaining better restitution. Depending on the facts of your case, the defendant may be charged with a misdemeanour or a felony.

Exceptions To Invasion Of Privacy

Not every phone call or secret recording is illegal. Some entities may record information without the parties’ consent.

You cannot claim that your privacy has been invaded if your information or conversation was recorded by:

  • Law enforcement officers while they are performing their duties to fetch information such as crime, trafficking, or any other crime that may be used as evidence in court.
  • Conversation during divorce proceedings: One party may make a secret recording of the other party’s statements on concealing assets to avoid paying support.
  • Recording from a company collecting debts: This can only be legal if you as the consumer have no consent that the information will be recorded for business purposes

Everyone has a right to know whether their information has been secretly recorded. This is common when companies are conducting fair debt collection exercises. If the company doesn’t have a call-recording disclosure, it may be subjecting itself to a potential class-action lawsuit. If you have suffered as a group, you can recover statutory damages.

Filing A Class Action Lawsuit

Invasion of privacy laws in Californian are intricate; you need to understand what can be a legal or illegal recording of information through the help of a lawyer. If your phone call or conversation during a meeting has been secretly recorded without your consent, you should seek legal help. Class action lawyers are best when filing a claim involving many litigants who have common injuries. Remember that the person or company charged with invasion of your privacy will have to defend themselves. To get the best compensation, you may consider looking for an experienced class action attorney to represent you.

If you’re planning your next adventure, don’t forget to prioritize cybersecurity. Learn everything you need to know about staying secure while travelling in our comprehensive guide. Check out our article on cybersecurity tips here.


Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.

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