Zoom issued a quick fix for its native macOS app over the weekend to address a concerning bug that left microphones active when they shouldn’t have been.
It comes after many Mac users complained the app was still listening in after calls had ended. It is the second time Zoom has attempted to eliminate this issue, so here’s to hoping this update actually does its job.
Zoom fixes mic bug on macOS
Zoom doesn’t exactly have the best reputation when it comes to protecting user privacy. That’s what happens when you’re fined $85 million for lying about offering end-to-end encryption. So, it doesn’t help when its macOS app is caught accessing user microphones when it shouldn’t be.
“I can’t believe @Zoom is still pulling off stuff like this,” said developer Felix Krause on Twitter last week. “The Zoom Mac app listens to the microphone even when not in any meetings. No way I’ll ever install their app.”
Some users, who were using apps like Timing to monitor how long Zoom was active, found that they were supposedly in calls for hours at a time, despite the fact that their meetings didn’t last anywhere near that long.
The good news is that it was just a bug (Zoom says) rather than nefarious behavior. And with the latest Zoom update for macOS, it’s fixed.
Update Zoom today
“We experienced a bug relating to the Zoom client for macOS, which could show the orange indicator light continue to appear after having left a meeting, call, or webinar,” Zoom said in its latest release notes.
“This bug was addressed in the Zoom client for macOS version 5.9.3 and we recommend you update to version 5.9.3 to apply the fix.”
Yes, if you haven’t already, be sure to install that version 5.9.3 Zoom update as quickly as possible. And if you can’t trust Zoom but you have to use it, you might want to try using the web-based version of the app in a browser instead.
The web version offers much of the same functionality, but without the worry that it could be up to something in the background. Once you’ve finished your call and closed the tab in your browser, it’s dead until you go back.