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Under Wisconsin law, if the person who records the wire, electronic, or oral communication is a party to the conversation or has obtained prior consent from one party, he may lawfully record and divulge the contents of the communication, unless he does so for the purpose of committing a criminal or tortious act. Wis. Stat. § 968.31.

Under the statute, consent is not required for the taping of a non-electronic communication uttered by a person who does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in that communication. Wis. Stat. § 968.27.

Wisconsin law expressly authorizes civil damages for violations and allows recovery of the greater of actual damages, $100 for each day of violation or $1,000, along with punitive damages, litigation costs, and attorney fees. Wis. Stat. § 968.31.

Recording a communication without consent is criminally punishable by up to six years in prison and/ or a $10,000 fine. Wis. Stat.§ 939.50.

Inside Wisconsin