Transformation Directorate

FAQs on recording MS Teams meetings

This page answers some of the common questions on recording Microsoft (MS) Teams meetings and supplements the existing video conferencing with colleagues guidance.

What kinds of meetings can I record on MS Teams?

Broadly speaking, internal team meetings and presentations, such as all staff briefings and training sessions are appropriate to record. Minute takers may also wish to record meetings to facilitate their role in writing up the minutes. You must have a legitimate and reasonable reason to record a meeting, exercising caution if recording any meeting that would not usually form a formal record, such as one to one's with staff, which may make the participant uncomfortable and speak less freely. Patients, service users or members of the public may find it helpful for meetings to be recorded, such as for a continuing healthcare (CHC) assessment, so that they can be given a copy to refer back to what was discussed. Where a recording is applicable to an individual’s health and care, a copy of the recording should also be retained as part of the health and care record.

What do I need to do if I am recording a meeting?

Inform meeting participants before you start recording. Let them know why you are recording, for example, for minute taking, internal circulation or publishing on the organisation's website. Participants can use the chat function or turn their camera off if they want to comment or ask a question, but do not want their face to be visible on the recording. Remind participants that they should be mindful of other people in their physical vicinity, and that they can blur or apply a background filter to their video to preserve privacy.

Where should I store the meeting recording?

Depending on your local implementation of MS Teams, the meeting recording may be stored on your local SharePoint drive, or on MS Streams. You should check with your IT team, who will have access to any recordings, as it is possible that it may be accessible by any individual in the country with NHSmail if appropriate settings are not in place. Best practice is to store all recordings in a defined location. This could be within your team’s shared folder, but will depend on who needs to access it. This should be restricted to those who require access for their role as the recording will contain personal data by default.

Can individuals request access to recordings?

Individuals are able to request access to the recordings as part of their data subject rights, known as a subject access request (SAR). You must ensure a record is kept of where the recordings are held and who features on the recording. You should also ensure your information asset register is updated to capture the necessary details.

Recordings may also be requested under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Disclosure of these will depend, like written records, on whether any exemptions apply.

Do we need the consent of all participants?

Under data protection legislation, consent is not appropriate, as there is an imbalance of power between the employing organisation and the staff who are the data subjects. This imbalance is also present where the participants are from other organisations or are members of the public, which means the consent cannot be freely given. However, depending on the type of meeting you are recording, it may be appropriate to ask if participants have any objection to the recording. Offering an alternative means to participate, such as via the chat or by turning the camera off, may be an appropriate response to any privacy concerns.

Which legal basis applies?

This will depend on what the purpose for the recording is and will be the same legal basis that you would apply to an equivalent written record. If it is necessary to retain the recording, participants would need to be informed of this. You should explain to any participant who objects why their objection is overruled, which will vary according to the purpose and legal basis for retention. If you are relying on consent under UK GDPR (Article 6(1)(a) or 9(2)(a) for special category data, you cannot overrule an objection and must delete the recording if consent is withdrawn. However, it is unlikely that GDPR consent can be relied upon (see FAQ on consent). Recording meetings may also assist the organisation to comply with its obligations under the Equality Act 2010 in terms of accessibility requirements and reasonable adjustments.

How long should we keep recordings for?

This will depend on the purpose of the recording. For example, recordings of a meeting for the minute taker can be deleted as soon as the minutes are written up. You should not retain the recording for longer than is necessary. Transcripts or summaries of recordings would need to be retained in line with the NHS Records Management Code of Practice as appropriate. Decisions for storage periods for records not covered by the records management code of practice, should be taken on a case by case basis, in consultation with the responsible lead for the area and the records management or Information Governance lead.