The Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) reports that the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the alarm industry in the case of Arias et al v. Mutual Central Alarm Service Inc. et al. In the case, Arias alleged that the alarm industry’s and Mutual’s practice of tape recording all incoming and outgoing phone calls involving central stations violates federal anti-wiretapping law. The specific issue addressed by the court involved whether employees are required to give their consent prior to the recording of all conversations (including personal) in order for such recording to fall within the “ordinary course of business” statutory exception.

The court held that no separate employee consent was necessary for recording of all calls. The court’s ruling to permit blanket recording of all telephone conversations to or from a central station is a significant event for the entire security industry. CSAA warns, however, that this area of the law is underdeveloped and issues may arise in other federal circuits.

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