Zoom video conferencing app uses microphone on Apple Mac even when in background

Mac users have started reporting that Zoom does not mute the microphone even when the video conferencing program is open in the background. Thanks to a new privacy feature, back in December, users noticed something was wrong with the Zoom app.

Apple has implemented a feature that warns users if an app or device is using the microphone or camera. Warnings appear in the menu bar as an orange dot when the microphone is in use, or a green dot when the camera is in use.

I work with macOS Monterey. A few times in the past week, I’ve noticed that the orange light is on, indicating that the application is using the microphone. I clicked on the Control Center and saw that Zoom was accessing the microphone. I wasn’t at the conference, I just opened the app. Why is Zoom accessing the microphone when I’m not in a conference? reads a message dated December 18 last year.

So, Zoom is spying on you and selling your voice data. Zoom is a shady company that never cared much about privacy, another user complained.

Then representatives of Zoom confirmed the presence of a bug in the application for macOS, due to which the orange microphone usage indicator could appear even after the conferences ended. This prompted the developers to release an update in late December to fix the bug.

Although the release notes state that in Zoom version 5.9.1 (3506) “Resolved an issue with the microphone light turning on when you’re not in a meeting for macOS Monterey”the fix doesn’t seem to work: users still see the orange signal even after installing the update.

The company released another update this week to fix this bug. According to the company, the issue should now be fixed.

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