Are Discord Calls Recorded?
Last Updated: August 5, 2020
We cover Discord quite a lot on this site as it’s such a powerful chat platform used by so many people. As a gamer myself, I used Discord all the time and have done since it took over from Ventrilo. We also get a lot of questions around Discord which we try to cover in our articles and tutorials. One question deserves special attention as it is asked so often, ‘Are Discord calls recorded?’
Privacy is a huge concern online. While it should be left unregulated, it does mean it’s every person for themselves when it comes to privacy and data protection. That’s fine if you know what you’re doing but not so fine if you don’t. As Discord is used by millions of people to chat, video and voice chat, privacy on the platform is an area of concern for some.
Are your or any Discord calls recorded?
As far as we know, Discord calls are not recorded. Discord uses end-to-end encryption and while a nation state could theoretically record them, why would they? Millions of people spend millions of hours per year chatting on Discord. Even if someone wanted to record those calls, the storage overhead would be huge.
An old Reddit post by a Discord staff member tried to clarify the situation around privacy. It said:
- Deleted Messages are deleted permanently.
- Images/files are deleted instantly from our servers when you opt to remove them. They can still remain cached in either cloudflare or locally, but they’re gone from Discord and once the cache clears they’re gone from everywhere.
- We do not monitor any server activity. Privacy is a huge concern for us and the ONLY time we invade this privacy is when someone reports illegal or ToS violating behavior AND provides credible evidence of them claim. And even then we only look at the material relevant to the claim. We never ever join a server looking for violations, or read chat logs.
- We do not monitor voice or video chat. I am unaware of if it’s physically possible to or not, but there is literally no reason we would ever do so.
- Audio/video calls are encrypted. Were a bot to join the call it’s possible they could record them, but that sounds super complicated and would be extremely obvious if its a bot account. It would be much easier to just do a screen capture, but you’d still have to be a member of the call to do so.
- Yes, IPs are stored internally in order to allow for IP banning.
Essentially, Discord has no interest in retaining more information than necessary for marketing and for running its services. It has its own money, is backed by investors and Discord Nitro and has no vested interest in collecting data. Especially as users would flee the instant any news of call recording or excessive data retention got out.
Is Discord safe to use?
As far as anyone outside the organization can tell, Discord is perfectly safe to use. All apps collect some data, all apps have the potential to collect a lot more but doesn’t mean it does. Discord is absolutely dependent on the goodwill of its users and if we ever found out they lied to use we would go back to TeamSpeak or Ventrilo in an instant. No company would want to risk that.
Discord does use a program tracker to see what’s running on your device and will share the games you play with your friends but so does Steam. I’m sure UPlay and others also share that kind of data.
Users can also record calls if you voice chat. There are a few guides online that show you how to use audio applications to record Discord with varying degrees of success.
Choosing whether to use Discord over privacy concerns comes down to a judgement call. If you’re not happy with a company knowing what games you play, what programs you run on your computer or all your messaging passing through its servers, then don’t use it. But then don’t use Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Steam and other apps either as they all do the same thing.
It’s easier to consider motive rather than means when considering questions like these. While Discord has the means to record everything that goes on, why would they? What would they gain from listening to random chat about WoW raids or the latest cosplay ideas? Not a lot, which is why I continue to use the platform without worrying too much about things I have no control over.