NAIH, Hungary’s Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information issued a new recommendation on Making, Accessing and Copying Voice Recordings, intended to further clarify privacy aspects of voice recordings. The recommendation follows the NAIH guidance on voice recordings that was issued earlier this year (please click here to see our previous article on this topic).  

In the recommendation, NAIH states that companies should allow recorded people to exercise their data access rights by listening to the recording. Access should be permitted at the place of processing or at the company, and/or the company should provide a copy of the voice recording to the affected person.

The recommendation implies that protection of trade secrets is not a sufficient reason to deny access to voice recordings. According to NAIH, any potential breach of confidentiality occurs when a trade secret is disclosed during the conversation, not when the recording is accessed by the person recorded. Further, NAIH argues that under civil law, information is protected as a trade secret only if its unauthorised disclosure is likely to jeopardise the company’s business interest. NAIH emphasises that it is not sufficient for a company to merely declare the content of a conversation as a trade secret – it must also take additional measures to protect the relevant information. Unfortunately, NAIH does not provide examples of such measures, it only declares that the company shall ensure that its employees shall not reveal trade secrets to other parties.

Now companies engaged in voice recording – in particular call centres, shared service providers and customer helpdesks – will need to revise their internal practices and policies to ensure compliance with NAIH’s recommendation. Revisions may be necessary to address, for example, protection of potentially confidential information provided to customers and data access procedures.