Apple Mac users BEWARE! Zoom is recording you even when not in use
Multiple Apple Mac users have reported that Zoom, the video meeting application, is keeping its microphone on even when the users are not using the platform. Even when the Zoom app is open in the background and is not in active use, it still keeps the microphone on, and records all nearby sounds continuously. This development has worried many Mac users who are now uncomfortable with using the app. This issue was first noticed after MacOS Monterey released last year. After repeated complaints, Zoom released an update in December 2021 to fix the issue. But it looks like the Zoom update didn’t fix it and the issue has returned.
First reported by The Register, the issue affects the native Zoom app running on the Monterey MacOS. In this version, Apple had installed a notification to alert users whenever an app accessed the camera or microphone. The menu bar would show an orange or green blip indicating it. Because of this visual cue, Mac users could immediately identify when Zoom kept its microphone on despite not being in use.
Zoom bug continues to affect Mac devices
Even after releasing its December 27 update, Zoom has apparently not been able to fix the issue which is creating a huge privacy vulnerability for app users. The update, Zoom version 5.9.1 (3506) did release a patch note which mentioned that it had “resolved an issue regarding the microphone light indicator being triggered when not in a meeting on macOS Monterey”. But it appears that the update didn’t work.
The Register noted a user on Zoom community chat commenting, “Well, that most recent update seems to have made no obvious difference. I've just noticed the orange dot again, and when I quit Zoom, Timing.app told me that I'd apparently been on a 2 hour Zoom call. At this point, it looks like it's safest to only run Zoom while on active calls and keep it quit otherwise.”
The firm also reached out to Zoom regarding the issue but a company representative only informed that they “were looking into this”. While this issue has been caught on Mac devices due to the alert system, it cannot be said whether it exists in other systems or not. Zoom has been in the news due to various privacy breaches in the past and the latest one only adds to that already long list.