capsule review

AllCallRecorder

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder AllCallRecorder

    PCWorld Rating

As the digital era progresses, individual privacy rights continue to erode. Users of Facebook and Google, for instance, have accused those services of not doing enough to protect privacy. Governments around the world have assumed greater authority to gather private information about their own citizens, typically in the name of national security. The narrative of the 21st century would seem to be that personal privacy is diminishing at the same time that large organizations are demanding greater protection from oversight or scrutiny. That would not be the entire picture, however. These days, people have yet another privacy threat to worry about: technical developments that make it easier for individuals to spy on one another.

AllCallRecorder is an example of a spy app that everyone, not just smartphone users, should be aware of. The app records phone conversations--without any form of notification to the other party, such as a beep. Note that in California and other states, as well as in many countries, it is illegal to record a phone conversation without notification to and consent from the other party.

What is most disturbing about AllCallRecorder is that it operates automatically. It runs in the background until you answer a call or dial a number to initiate a call; then it records the ensuing conversation and logs it. This setup makes it incredibly easy to record conversations without your even being aware that you are doing so. The recordings capture your voice at a much greater volume than that of the person on the other end. When I tried recording some conversations, however, I found that although the other parties were more difficult to hear, they were still audible enough to discern what they were saying.

AllCallRecorder is straightforward and simple to use. From the settings you either enable it or disable it. You can select how long you want to keep recordings, from indefinitely to one day. The app also provides an option to enable the recording of incoming voices, although in my test this option did not make a difference in how the recording sounded.

I write all of this not because I think that AllCallRecorder has an intrinsically evil purpose, or that its designers had ill intentions. Obviously someone might want to record a phone conversation for any of a number of legitimate reasons, such as having a transcript of an important business call. Nevertheless, everyone should be aware that the ability to record phone conversations without the other party's knowledge is the easiest it has ever been. Given that fact, people should remember to conduct themselves accordingly.

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder AllCallRecorder

    PCWorld Rating
Related:
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.