Livescribe pens and privacy

Hi everyone

My wife bought me a Livescribe pen for Christmas and it is the best bit of techno gear I have had the pleasure of using. I have used it with my team when assesing their presentation skills. It took them a while to get used to it but the results have been good.

However, I have used it in meetings and I am striking one of two behaviours. If I use it in secret (per-se) people get a bit grumpy that I have recorded them without their knowlege but, if I let everyone know that I am recording, the meetings become so stilted and full of pregnant pauses it stifles the meeting.

Has anyone else encountered this and what have you done to move forward?


Sanshoo (Australia)

Sanshoo, I have tried


I have tried recording telecons with the same results, however, after a little while, people eventually accepted the situation and valued the benefits and forgot it was there. I used it for a very specific type of meeting and was able to cascade it to reports were necessary and appropriate and to non-attending colleagues as meeting minutes do not always convey the detail, just the headlines.

Face to face meetings would be a little more difficult as people get a visual reminder that it is there. I would suggest you make your intentions clear to the meeting members and sell them the benefits. If it is just for your personal use, rather than an overiding startegy to fix a problem or add team/orgaisation benefit, put it in your drawer and leave it there.

I would add, under no circumstances should you be using a recording device without the rest of the team being made aware. It just doesn't look good, however you try and see it


Check Local Laws

Not only may it not "look good", depending where you are, it may also be illegal to record without everyone being aware.   For the US, for instance, try here:  (with the main article for this being here   There are 16 States where you need to be aware of what you're doing (i.e. one-party consent doesn't necessarily apply).

(I am not a lawyer and the above is not legal advice.  I am a LiveScribe user).



Thank you

Gary, I was aware of the legal implications of recording without consent and in Australia I had been lead to believe that only recording over a telecommunications device (phone) was illegal but I have since been advised that that is not quite true either. Apparently, provided one party is aware they are being recorded, it is sufficient. I gather, (Having just listened to Mel Gibson's latest sad tirade recorded by his ex girlfriend) that perhaps recording someone over the phone in the US isn't all that illegal either (?)

I'm not a lawyer either so stay tuned.


Thanks for your viewpoint. Its good to know that people may just get used to it. I do recall all the dooms-dayers when that fad known as the internet came along.

I'll brief the next bunch of meeting attendees and get back to you on the results.



Legality vs. trust?

Personally, I don't think you can record the meeting in good conscience without the participants being aware. Is there some reason you can't delegate taking notes to someone on your team? The effective meetings series can help you prepare for that. A new gadget is great, but not if it reduces your effectiveness.

If you're dead set on recording the meetings, you need to announce it at the beginning of every meeting. Your directs will eventually get used to it, or not. If you record without their knowledge, you're in a very gray area ethically, not to mention any potential legal ramifications.