Using Zoom on a Mac? It may be secretly recording your audio

Over the course of the pandemic, Zoom has grown from an occasionally used video calling app to an essential tool for workers around the world. But according to a number of reports, a Zoom bug can record Mac users’ audio without their knowledge.

As reported by The Register, the issue first emerged in late 2021, when Mac users began to notice that Zoom was recording their microphone audio even when the app was simply open in the background and not actively calling. used to be.

Users suspected this thanks to an update in macOS Monterey that added a green or orange dot to the Mac menu bar when an app was accessing your camera or microphone, respectively. Users noticed that the orange dot often appeared when Zoom was open, regardless of whether they were on a call or not.

At the time, Zoom said it had released a fix for the issue. However, it looks like the problem will persist until this week. For example developer Felix Krause noticed the problem on Twitterwhile another explained that the bug was still occurring despite the latest Zoom update.

I can not believe @Zoom still does things like this: the Zoom Mac app listens to the microphone even when it’s not in a meeting. I will never install their app.

— Felix Krause (@KrauseFx) February 9, 2022

Since the bug is apparently still active in the latest version of Zoom, it is up to the developer of the app to release a fix that fixes the problem properly. In the meantime, it’s probably a good idea to leave Zoom open only when you really need it, such as when you’re about to enter a conversation, and then close it right away. That means pressing Command+Q or clicking > Exit Zoom in your menu bar, rather than just closing the main app window, because doing the latter will leave the app itself open.

Interestingly, we were unable to replicate the issue on a Mac Mini using a third-party webcam, suggesting that the bug doesn’t currently affect all macOS-based Zoom users. However, it’s a good idea to take at least precautions, such as using a webcam with a built-in privacy cover.

It is not the first time that Zoom has been accused of privacy violations. In August 2021, it settled a $85 million lawsuit over a number of issues, while its privacy policy has come under fire in the past. Fortunately, there are countless ways to increase your Zoom privacy and security without too much hassle.

Since the publication of this article, Zoom has contacted us with the following response:

“The Zoom client for macOS 5.9.3, released on January 25, 2022, has fixed a bug where microphone use could not be properly terminated after the meeting. Zoom determined that this bug did not cause audio data to be returned to the Zoom platform. As always, we recommend that users make sure their Zoom client is updated to the latest version.

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