Uruguay Audio and Video Recording Laws

Can You Record Phone Calls and Conversations in Uruguay?

In Uruguay, the law is not clear in stating whether the country is a one-party consent state or a two-party consent state.

In addition, the constitution of Uruguay does not directly address the right to privacy, however, Uruguayan courts maintain that the right to privacy has constitutional standing according to Article 72 of the Constitution which states,

“The enumeration of rights, duties, and protections established in the Constitution, does not exclude other rights which are inherent to the human personality or are derived from the republican form of government.”

This provision means that any right that applies to all human beings can be considered to have constitutional standing, even if not directly recognized in the constitution.

Going by the constitution, it may be illegal to record other people’s private conversations if you’re not an active participant, as this may amount to a violation of privacy.

Article 28 of the constitution also protects the privacy of letters and correspondence (communications) of any nature (e.g phone conversations) from searches, examination or interception unless for the purposes of following an existing law.

Article 297 of the Uruguayan Penal Code states that it is against the law, using a secret device, to intercept, prevent or interrupt telegraphic or telephone communications. The punishment for this is a fine of 20 UR (twenty adjustable units) to 400 UR (four hundred adjustable units).

So based on this law, recording phone conversations that you’re not taking part in is illegal as this may amount to interception of telephone communication.

Uruguay Video Recording Laws

When recording videos in Uruguay, it is important to avoid violating the privacy of others. The right to privacy in Uruguay is constitutionally protected.

The rule of thumb is do not record anyone when they are in a place or situation with a reasonable expectation of privacy.

For example, you cannot record people in places such as inside homes, changing rooms, washrooms, hotel rooms, etc.

When it comes to recording children, the Uruguayan Children and Adolescents Code of 2005 regulates the rights of children.

The code states that every child has a right to privacy and the right to control their own private life. Therefore, childrens’ images cannot be used in a harmful way that damages or identifies them.

Recording Laws for Businesses

Uruguay has a data protection law similar to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

The country was declared adequate in 2012 by the European Commission with regards to the GDPR.

Uruguay’s data protection law is regulated by Law No. 18.331 and Decree No. 414/009 Regulating Law 18.331.

According to the data protection law, consent is the main legal basis for the collection of data by data controllers. Article 13 of the Law states that,

“When collecting personal data, their owners must be previously informed in express, precise and unequivocal form:

  1. The purpose for which they will be processed and who may be the recipients or class of recipients.
  2. The existence of the database, electronic or any other type, in question and the identity and address of the person responsible.
  3. The mandatory or optional nature of the responses to the questionnaire that is proposed, especially regarding the sensitive data.
  4. The consequences of providing the data and of the refusal to do it or its inaccuracy.
  5. The possibility of the owner to exercise access rights, rectification and deletion of data.”

Article 6 of the Decree states that the data subject must be provided with a simple, clear and free means to express his or her consent or refusal to the processing of their personal data.