Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think so. You know when you hang up on a phone call or video conference and you let out an unconscious, “Thank God that’s over” or “That guy is a jerk” or something similar? You’re not meaning to be rude, it just gets away from you.
Since December 2021, those on Zoom calls on their Mac laptops or desktops have reported a bug which left the computer’s microphone live after the conference ended. Which meant that those involuntary, strictly-private post-call comments you let out may not have been so private, after all.
This problem was addressed last year but apparently to no avail. The good news is that, as noted by 9to5Mac, it’s been fixed now in the latest update.
It’s not just your spontaneous vocalizations in the seconds after you’ve “left the meeting” that have been spoken with the microphone still on. Some users reported that their microphone remained live for ages after it should have.
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Since Apple launched macOS Monterey, a warning light has appeared on the Mac screen to indicate the video camera or microphone were active. Green for the camera, orange for the mic. So it was easy for users to know if things weren’t quite how they should be.
And since many have left the app on in the background to make it easier to make and receive Zoom calls, this potential invasion of privacy has been raising concerns. While the issue was current, the best way to deal with it was to quit Zoom after each call—a bit more fiddly for setting up or receiving the next call, but better overall.
Zoom has come in for criticism in the past for data privacy handling in the past, so this problem was an important one.
Happily, it’s now been sorted—though there’s no harm in keeping an eye out for that telltale orange light before you let rip in future.