Your Data Are Not On Mute

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

A piece by Will Gendron in Input calls attention to the fact that video conferencing apps, including Zoom, Slack, Google Meet, and Discord, continue to gather data from users even after their mics are muted. This is particularly concerning because a survey of video conferencing app users found that users are typically not aware that the apps are gathering data even when their mic is muted. Patterns in the audio data can be used to identify user activities such as cleaning, cooking, playing music, etc.

It is unlikely that conferencing apps will forgo the wholesale gathering of the data of muted users anytime soon. With that in mind, users might want to limit their activities while muted to cleaning, cooking, and listening to music.

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