Is it OK to record an online conference or online training or coaching?
There are lots of business benefits to recording – things like video or audio conferences, coaching sessions or training sessions. If you run group training or coaching, recording of live sessions can be really useful. You could use those recordings in a number of different ways:
- As part of a training programme or masterclass
- To share with members of a Facebook group
- To market your business
Every recording includes personal information or data. Data which will or could identify the people who take part. Your name, your voice and your image aside from anything you say. When you collect and use personal data you need to think about data protection. It’s all a
bout how you store, protect and use that data.
In the UK it means complying with current data protection law (now known as the UK GDPR). It means that even before you record anyone you need to check that there is a ‘lawful basis’ for you to do it.
For some business that lawful basis might be a ‘legal obligation’ (for example, banks and financial institutions). For others, it might be something that you have to do to ‘fulfil a contractual obligation’. For example, a coaching package includes giving the client recordings of their sessions. Alternatively, you might feel that your business has a ‘legitimate interest’ to record. Unfortunately, ‘legitimate interest’ can be tricky. It means looking at whether your interests, or those of the people you are recording are most important. You will struggle to argue your interest is greater than the people you record so don’t. Rely on consent only when it comes to using recordings in your business.
In business choose the easiest way (‘lawful basis) to get the people you want to record to agree (consent) to the recording.
This doesn’t have to be complicated. You could use a ‘tick box’ – provided that it’s not ‘pre-ticked’. You do need to make sure that you are clear and open about:
- What you are recording
- What the recording will be used for – this means all of the things you want to do with it, not just the short term use. Get consent once and record it properly so you have proof.
Check your platform or software
Getting consent can be easier with some video and audio conferencing platforms/software. For example, if you use Zoom you use a tool (pop-up box) to ask participants to give their consent to be recorded. Find out how to do this by visiting https://bit.ly/3qrisCx
Using that tool is unlikely to be enough.
- Be up-to-date and reflect what your business does
- Explain what you are recording
- Explain and what you use the recording for
Terms and Conditions
If you are going to regularly be recording, then you must also cover that in your terms and conditions of business. For example, if you record all your training or coaching sessions then you must explain this in your terms and conditions, so people know and agree to this at the start of your contract with them. Best practice in data protection is no unexpected uses, surprises or shocks where data is concerned!
What if someone wants to participate but doesn’t want to be recorded?
You will need to find ways around this and make sure that they are not recorded.
- Find out what ‘opt-out’, if any, is available on the platform/software that you are using
- Make sure that they use any available tools to anonymise themselves
- Allow them access to the recordings or to ask questions in anonymised mode but always respect their wishes and follow them to the letter
Remember that you can’t force someone to be recorded. Consent has to be given freely and with a clear understanding what they are agreeing to.
We’ve included recording and the pitfalls and how to deal with them in more depth in our LHG Hub. Visit LINK