This blog posting represents the views of the author, David Fosberry. Those opinions may change over time. They do not constitute an expert legal or financial opinion.

If you have comments on this blog posting, please email me .

The Opinion Blog is organised by threads, so each post is identified by a thread number ("Major" index) and a post number ("Minor" index). If you want to view the index of blogs, click here to download it as an Excel spreadsheet.

Click here to see the whole Opinion Blog.

To view, save, share or refer to a particular blog post, use the link in that post (below/right, where it says "Show only this post").

Video-conferencing apps may listen to you even while muted!

Posted on 13th April 2022

Show only this post
Show all posts in this thread (Cybersecurity).

This report on "The Next Web" warns people about something worrying, even though it should be obvious to people who have a modicum of technical know-how: when you are in a video-conference, muting in the app will only prevent other conference participants from hearing you. The app/service provider is able to listen to anything you say, and record it or analyse it with an AI program. That does not mean that they are eavesdropping, but it is technically possible; it reminds us all of how much trust we are placing in the likes of Zoom and Microsoft (suppliers of Teams and Skype).

I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't want someone recording or analysing my speech when I am muted. It is an invasion of privacy.

You might think that, having muted, you can safely swear about your boss, or talk about something that is not intended for public knowledge with someone else in the room with you, but this is clearly not the case.

Luckily, as the article points it, it is still possible to mute, by muting the device, not the app. For example, many headsets mute if you raise the microphone; alternatively you can use your operating system functionality to mute the microphone locally (how you do this depends on what operating system and version you have).