Does FaceTime Notify the Other Person if you Screen Record?

Posted by Jamie on May 11, 2019

FaceTime is one of the best features of the iPhone. It’s quick, easy and very stable and as long as you have a decent network connection, works flawlessly. With video quickly becoming the default way to communicate, how does it affect privacy? Can you record a FaceTime call? Does FaceTime notify the other person if you screen record? What happens if you think you have been recorded?

Newer iPhones allow you to screen record FaceTime but you will only get video and no audio. This is a feature built into iOS to prevent you from breaking the law in many places. You can record conversations in many parts of the world but you are legally obligated to notify the other person first. This no-audio feature in Apple’s screen recorder is to help with this.

How to record a FaceTime call

If you wanted to record a FaceTime call and had the other party’s permission, you can record video only within iOS.

  1. Open Settings and Control Center.
  2. Select Customize Controls.
  3. Scroll to Screen Recording and select the green Add icon.
  4. Swipe up from the bottom of your phone screen to access Control Center.
  5. Start screen recording with the icon.
  6. Open FaceTime and set up your call.

As mentioned, you will see the video of the call but hear no audio. This is normal and for your own protection. In most western countries, recording someone without their permission is illegal so this helps stop you breaking the law.

If you want audio as well as video, you will need a third party app. There are plenty of them, including Record it!DU RecorderWeb Recorder and ecamm.

Does FaceTime notify the other person if you screen record?

FaceTime does not alert the other person if you record the call using the built-in screen recorder. Snapchat is the only application I know of that will alert the other party that you have screenshotted or recorded. iOS doesn’t have that facility and the many third party screen recording apps you can use on an iPhone don’t appear to do it either.

This seems odd given that Apple wanted to protect you by not allowing audio of calls but will allow you to secretly record or take screenshots of a FaceTime call without alerting the other person.

What happens if you think you have been recorded on FaceTime?

In all honesty, unless you know the person who recorded you and have some kind of evidence that they made a recording, you cannot do a great deal. We are all recorded all of the time, from building cameras to city CCTV, traffic cameras to security cameras in malls or other public spaces.

While secretly recording an intimate FaceTime chat is different from recording you for security reason in public, they aren’t that much different.

If you genuinely think you have been recorded, your only real option is to call them on it. You would need proof though otherwise they can just deny it. Not sure where you would go from there.

The law on recording conversations

Apparently, 11 US states have a two-party consent law while 38 do not. Other western countries have a two-party consent system. If you live in California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington, you require the consent of the other person to record any conversation. This web page gives a lot more detail.

If you’re recording across state lines, it is usually the law applicable where the device doing the recording is located that prevails. Like many of our laws, it depends entirely where you live.

FaceTime and the threat of recording

There will always be the risk that someone is recording your FaceTime call. It is something we all have to bear in mind when we appear on video. It is also something we need to keep an eye out for when talking to someone new. If you trust the person, you can make a judgment call on whether you need to maintain your guard or not.

If you don’t know the other person well enough yet or don’t have that level of trust, keep the possibility of your being recorded in the back of your mind. There are lots of ways to appear on video without being too identifiable so it shouldn’t stop you doing what you want.

It is always good etiquette to let the other party know you’re recording the conversation whether it’s a customer service agent on the phone or your boss. Anything less is just rude and should be regarded as the lowest of the low. That won’t stop some people though so you just have to bear in mind the risks when dealing with people you don’t know so well.

Have you ever been recorded or photographed without your knowledge? What did you do about it? Tell us about it below if you like!

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