Before using Zoom on your Mac again, be sure you’re running the latest version of the app to protect your privacy. The video conference platform recently released version 5.9.3 of its software, which is said to resolve the issue of your computer's mic staying on even after you leave your meeting and close the app.
Mac users started noticing the issue last December, taking to the platform’s community forum to find answers and warn others. They reported that the orange recording indicator in the Control Centre remained on despite Zoom not being open, signalling that the app was still accessing the mic. The indicator is a privacy feature of macOS Monterey that tells you when an app is using your mic.
The issue, going by the reports, is related to the native app on macOS Monterey, which a Zoom representative later confirmed. An update to the Zoom client meant to resolve the issue was released last December, but it didn’t work for everyone, as The Register reports.
While Zoom says the latest update has done the trick, the issue still persists, if some uses are to be believed. “Well, that most recent update seems to have made no obvious difference,” one user commented on the community forum. “I've just noticed the orange dot again, and when I quit Zoom, the Timing.app told me that I'd apparently been on a 2-hour Zoom call.”
This is a particularly worrisome issue because, when it comes to privacy, Zoom doesn’t exactly have a good track record. Despite its surge in popularity during the onset of the pandemic, Zoom came under fire for its security and privacy practices, with meetings being vulnerable to Zoombombing and the platform misleading users about its end-to-end encryption.
When asked to comment regarding reports about the issue persisting, Zoom told The Register that it’s looking into it. Zoom also told The Verge that the issue "did not result in audio data being transmitted back to Zoom’s platform", emphasising that the platform is not spying on its users.
If you’re using Zoom on Mac, pay close attention to your mic settings both in and out of meetings. If you’re still encountering the problem, why not try a different platform for the meantime, only until it’s entirely resolved. If that’s not possible, try joining or hosting your meetings via a browser instead of the native app.
Zoom users on Mac last December discovered an issue related to the native app that kept the mic running even after leaving meetings.
The video conference platform says that the latest version of its Mac software, version 5.9.3, has resolved the issue, though it didn't seem to work for everyone.
In case you're encountering the issue even after updating, why not try joining or hosting meetings via your browser in the meantime.