Anytime you use a video teleconferencing app, you’re sending your audio data to the company hosting the services. And, according to a new study, that means all of your audio data. This includes voice and background noise whether you’re broadcasting or muted.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison investigated “many popular apps” to determine the extent that video conferencing apps capture data while users employ the in-software ‘mute’ button.
According to a university press release, their findings were substantial:
They used runtime binary analysis tools to trace raw audio in popular video conferencing applications as the audio traveled from the app to the computer audio driver and then to the network while the app was muted.
They found that all of the apps they tested occasionally gather raw audio data while mute is activated, with one popular app gathering information and delivering data to its server at the same rate regardless of whether the microphone is muted or not.