Allowing Online Meetings to Be Recorded

Recording meetings may be a useful tool in helping teams keep track of discussions or verify decisions. Meeting recordings are also a great way to archive important information that you can reference in the future.

However, it’s crucial to obtain consent from all participants in online meetings before recording them. This helps avoid civil / criminal liability.

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Legal Requirements

Recording online meetings is an essential part of business, but it can cause significant privacy and legal issues if done improperly. Depending on the laws in your territory, you may need to obtain consent from meeting participants before recording.

Typically, this involves sending out an audio or visual cue to the call participants telling them that they will be recorded in the conversation and asking for their consent to do so. This is known as active consent and can be an important part of complying with more stringent privacy laws around the world.

Many video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams offer disclaimers that pop up when attendees enter a virtual meeting and ask them to consent to be recorded. Admins can customize this notification to apply only to external participants or affect all meeting participants.

Active Consent

If you are planning to record an online meeting, you must obtain active consent from each participant. The type of consent required varies by legislation and situation, but in general, this means that each person participating must be informed that the meeting will be recorded, and give their express consent to participate in the recording.

Many video conference tools have in-built consent features, which are easy to use and a quick and convenient way to comply with the relevant legal requirements. For example, Zoom allows you to click on a button to show consent before the meeting begins, and many other remote working tools include similar features.

Alternatively, you can send participants an email informing them that the meeting will be recorded. If you choose this method, it is important to ensure that the meeting participants have read the email and understand what they will be consenting to.

In the event that you want to share a recording from a recorded online meeting, you can access it via the Cloud Recordings tab in the Online Meetings tool. The link will display a list of available recordings, and site participants can select the appropriate one to view.

Passive Consent

A key consideration when deciding whether to allow online meetings to be recorded is whether the meeting attendees are required to consent before the recording occurs. This could be through a written disclaimer email, audio, or video cue.

Research has shown that passive consent procedures reduce the likelihood of subject selection bias and low participation rates in school based research, and also increase the diversity of student samples compared to active parental consent studies.

Passive consent was used in the COMPASS study because it was able to provide us with robust ‘whole’ school student-level data for use in the development of School Health Profiles for all participating schools.

Pokorny says the key to getting the right level of parental consent is partnering with schools to craft a process that fits their students’ needs. That may mean incorporating the research consent form into other important documents they send out to parents, such as report cards or statements that their child has read the handbook.


If you’re planning to use Zoom to host online meetings, you’ll need to consider how much storage you need. This varies depending on the conferencing tool you choose, as well as its cloud and local storage capacity.

Meeting transcripts are also important to store in the same location as recordings. This can avoid a potential issue where someone downloads the transcription and writes something different in the transcript document than what’s recorded on the video.

To prevent this, your organization should only allow access to meeting recordings for people who have legitimate business purposes and who can meet data privacy requirements, said Adam Preset, vice president and analyst at Gartner.

You may also want to set a retention period for your video meetings. This varies by industry and can be as long as two years, for example, for governing body meeting recordings (see GR1000-03e [local] or RSIN 1.1.059).