Call Recording Legally After Android 8.1

May 10, 2022
Axis Geffen

Article written by Axis Geffen

So there I was, a licensed Private Investigator in Canada working multiple legal cases and my Samsung Note 8 flashed a message saying it wanted me to “upgrade” to Android 9. I said “No” and declined it like I had a few times before. After all, my phone is a business tool. I need it to be reliable to create and store evidence for use in legal proceedings. Therefore I generally wait until they work the bugs out of any new “update” to ensure that I don’t “downdate” my ability to do my job. But on that day, Samsung, Android, and Google had decided that my “choice” was no longer mine to make. The message flashed again, this time, despite me saying “No”, the phone said too bad, it’s happening in 10 seconds. And it did. My life as a PI has been infinitely harder ever since.

Problems Posed by the Android 9 Pi:

I was “Force Upgraded” to Android 9 Pi. Immediately after, every call recording saved on my phone was renamed to remove identifying information. That means I still had the recordings but no idea what file they were for and no way to legally prove who the parties to the call were. A nightmare for anyone in any law enforcement or evidence preservation role. The next thing, all of my call recording going forward was “tampered with” by Google and Android. Sometimes calls were only recorded on one side, sometimes not at all. I begged for help from the creators of the call recordings apps but they too were caught off-guard. With every update and every new release of Android, Google, or IOS software the problem has gotten worse. To a point that it is now virtually impossible to record a phone call using a modern smartphone.

It’s not right and it’s not fair. Anyone that has read my previous articles or studied Canadian Law is aware that call recording is 100% completely legal in Canada as long as you are a party to the call. Heck! Even major corporations are permitted to “record calls for quality” and it could be argued that they aren’t party to the call at all. Instead, random people and automated attendants are. (But that’s another issue). This has left me stuck, like millions of others with a growing problem. Tech companies are working together to limit what we do, even when it is totally legal for us to do it.

Proposing a Solution:

My only recourse has been to void my warranty and my Knox security by “Rooting” my phone and reflashing to an older and less secure version of Android that the call recording apps had a workaround for. Expensive and dangerous but it was my ONLY option. Phone upgrades were not even an option – until now. I recently found a product that I believe will be the wave of the future for anyone in law enforcement, any legal profession or that simply wants to exercise their Canadian right to create evidence to protect themselves and their families. It’s called the Esonic Recordergear PR200. I am not getting anything from the company to write this article – they don’t know I’m writing it. I just want others to realize we have an option.

Call recording

Call Recording Using the Esonic Recordgear PR200

I’m so inspired by this product that I’ve created my first ever unboxing video about it. I’ve also written this article to share with anyone that is interested. The device is basically an IC Recorder that can also be connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth like a Bluetooth headset. It allows clean recording of both sides of the call and logs it in a manner that can be proven authentic in court. There is one massive drawback – you have to hold it to your head, like a traditional phone, to use it. You no longer answer your phone directly, you answer the recorder and speak into it like a phone. This can be an inconvenience and I hope that someone makes a headset version of it soon. In the meantime, you can rest it somewhat comfortably between your ear and an over-the-ear headphone and it will still work.

You can buy it from several retailers but I bought mine directly from Recordergear. Shopping around will also expose you to more instruction videos that explain the ins and outs of the device. I have to believe that native Call Recording will never return to our smartphones because it’s not a decision based on local laws – our local laws permit it. So, technologies like this one are the wave of the future.

I hope this article is helpful to you. Please share it with anyone you know that may be experiencing the same issues. They’ll thank you for it!