Illinois Call Recording Law

Below is a section of the Illinois State Statutes that we believe apply to recording phone conversations. This information is not intended as a substitute for legal counsel.

From the Illinois State Code

720 Ill. Compiled Stat. Ann. 5/14-1, -2: An eavesdropping device cannot be used to record or overhear a conversation without the consent of all parties to the conversation under criminal statutes. An eavesdropping device is anything used to hear or record a conversation, whether the conversation is in person or conducted by any means other than face-to-face conversation, such as a telephone conversation.

In addition, it is criminally punishable to disclose information one knows or should know was obtained through an eavesdropping device. Offenses of the eavesdropping law are punishable as felonies, with first offenses categorized as lesser felonies than subsequent offenses. 720 Ill. Compiled Stat. Ann. 5/14-4. Civil liability for actual and punitive damages is authorized as well. 720 Ill. Compiled Stat. Ann. 5/14-6.

Standard radio scanners are not eavesdropping devices, according to a 1990 decision from an intermediate appellate court. Illinois v. Wilson, 554 N.E.2d 545 (Ill. App. Ct. 1990). A camera is not an eavesdropping device. Cassidy v. ABC, 377 N.E. 2d 126 (Ill. App. Ct. 1978).

It is also illegal for any person to "videotape, photograph, or film another person without that person’s consent in a restroom, tanning bed, or tanning salon, locker room, changing room or hotel bedroom." 720 Ill. Compiled Stat. Ann. 5/26-4(a).

Important Notice

It is always best to talk with an attorney if you have questions about the legal implications of recording calls in your state. We hope this information will serve as a general guide, and is not intended to substitute for expert legal counsel.

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