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Can I record a video conference?

As we all adapt to a new way of working and keeping in touch, there have been many photographs and videos posted on social media in the last few...

Justin Wong

As we all adapt to a new way of working and keeping in touch, there have been many photographs and videos posted on social media in the last few weeks of Zoom conference calls and FaceTime meetings. But is it actually legal to do this?

Can I record my colleagues during a Zoom meeting?

The answer depends firstly on whether the participant/s have provided their consent, and secondly on whether the conversation is classified as a ‘private conversation’. A conversation is considered private if the conversation occurs in circumstances which reasonably indicates that any of the persons in the conversation want the words to only be heard by themselves.

Therefore, if a Zoom meeting is being held between colleagues in the privacy of their home, and the conversation is recorded without the knowledge of the other participants, the act of recording could constitute a criminal offence.

What is the penalty for recording a private conversation?

The maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment, and/or a $11,000 fine.

Can I make a screenshot of my colleagues during a Zoom meeting?

In NSW, it is generally not illegal to take a photograph of another person without their consent (although there are exceptions if the photograph is sexually explicit).

However, you could be committing an offence if you then use that image in a way that harasses or intimidates the subject of the photograph. For more information, see our pages on Stalk/Intimidate and Use Carriage Service to Harass or Menace.

Article by Zoe Whetham, Senior Associate at Streeton Lawyers

Photo by Bongkarn Thanyakij