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The Covid diaries: Day 36 - Through the Looking Glass

The Covid diaries: Day 36 - Through the Looking Glass

A daily fly-on-the-wall blog about running a legal business during the Covid-19 crisis.

By Dónall Breen - 6 May

I had an amusing little moment last night with my parents. We were happily chatting on WhatsApp video when I started to admit that I had completely forgotten my brother's birthday and I would just have to pretend his card was lost in the post. A laugh went up in the background; he was sitting on the other side of the phone.

A little awkward, but I did promise him a shout out in my blog to say sorry. Hi Martin! :)

Inevitably it will also happen at work. And the problem will only get worse if the meeting is recorded and shared around to people who were never supposed to listen in. 

Back in the good old pre-Covid days, meetings were rarely recorded, other than exceptional circumstances. And almost always it was recorded with audio only as a special file on HR's desktop. 

But now it is easier than ever with everyone on video chat. And why not record a video instead of some poor sod taking notes for the whole thing?

Most companies* have little experience in how to deal with records of company meetings, so it is understandably hard to try and magically concoct a firm policy on what should happen. No meetings should be recorded? Some meetings can be recorded if requested and everyone agrees? Recordings cannot be forwarded (how do you police this)? Videos need to be password protected (can we do this easily with ready-to-use software)? It's all a little tricky. And that without the GDPR torpedo or other laws being considered. 

* Some regulated entities that must record phone calls for record keeping purposes will be well aware of some of these struggles.

Before I feel too superior on my high horse, I'll admit we haven't grappled with the issue entirely either. We sometimes (OK, twice) record non-sensitive team catch ups for those who are missing. But we have yet to get some standard practice around how that will work for more sensitive meetings (if recordings are deemed necessary). Thus far, we have ducked the issue by only managing to record two boring meetings, but do need to think about it going forward.

In the meantime, I think the safe thing to do is to not record any meeting unless you are certain you can control who sees the recording (or frankly, you wouldn't care who sees it). Otherwise, missing birthday cards might be the least of your worries. 

If you would like to read our Covid diaries starting from day 1 please click here.