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I would like to record a conversation with another individual (who otherwise could assume privacy). In this case Maryland requires the consent of both parties to record, as shown in the diagram below.

Tape Recording laws

With that said, I have read that in some States if you simply notify the other party that you are recording, if they choose to continue the conversation then that constitutes consent. How do I know if thats the case in Maryland when its not explicitly made clear what constitutes consent in the statues?

Furthermore, and more broadly, if there are states where simply stating this is not enough, then how is it legal for large companies (Comcast, Verizon, Pepco, etc.) to record telephone conversations in every state (after all when I call them from my telephone I get the same "this call may be recorded" message, regardless of what state I am calling from).

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Edit: Regarding my broader question, from a little further research I have found an FCC rule (law? guideline?) which states that telephone companies may record phone calls if they use an audio beep or announce that the call will be recorded, but this only seems to cover telephone companies.

  • Consent is something of a misnomer here. Knowledge of the fact that a conversation of being recorded while not hanging up realistically constitutes consent. – ohwilleke Feb 9 '17 at 20:00
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There is no way to know for absolute sure. The statutes do not address the question, so one would look at the case law. There appear to be about a dozen wiretapping cases that made it to the court of appeals in Maryland, and none of them involve implied consent (e.g. where it is announced prior to recording that the call may or will be recorded – prior is mandatory). The probability is high that implied consent suffices, since the legislature did not specific require express consent and consent is not generally taken to mean express consent. One can and should hire an attorney who will give you a professional and considered (but not infallible) opinion, if it really matters.

  • Excellent, thank you. Are there any states where explicit consent is required? If so how do companies get away with these recordings country wide? – n00b Feb 9 '17 at 19:52

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