‘I’m going to start recording now, if you have a concern about that, please let me know.’
In all my virtual calls over the years, I’ve not heard one person object at that moment. It’s not surprising as it goes against all unspoken group codes and most culture codes. However, I also know many people would prefer to not have been recorded on various calls. And many silently cringe and no longer contribute or engage.
Some meetings are public and meant to be so. Most of these meetings are recorded and recordable. But this is known beforehand and expected. Organisational, company, community group meetings are different. We need to be informing and seeking permission in advance of the meeting. This is partly about consent, but mostly about etiquette and kindness.
Some people don’t mind being recorded, while others do. Both are legitimate and both will have backstories and experiences that shape their opinion. Many people I know worry about where the recording might end up.
Be kind to each other. Ask in advance. Don’t default to recording – ask why you are and if you actually need to.
PS. One of things we’ve noticed in the workshop-type events we’ve run is that conversation is freer and fuller when we don’t record. We think it is related to the recording because people don’t worry that what they say might be used against them in the future. At the moment this is observational not scientific.