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Muting your mic reportedly doesn’t stop big tech from recording your audio - thenextweb.com/news/muting-you

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.

@twitnews
They looked at Zoom, Slack, MS Teams/Skype, Google Meet, Cisco Webex, BlueJeans, WhereBy, GoToMeeting, Jitsi Meet, Discord

"All VCAs [video conferencing apps] actively query the microphone when the user is muted, and they might have legitimate purposes. For example, Zoom alerts the user when they try to speak with their microphone muted. The privacy policies of these services need to be explicit about microphone access, which is not currently the case."
wiscprivacy.com/papers/vca_mut

@twitnews I usually find it easier to mute my mic in Plasma than any voice app so I usually just do that.

@twitnews .hg And this is why we need hardware killswitches.

If your box doesn't have them, Qubes is the next best thing.

@moonbolt @twitnews I bet Linux's systemwide mic mute covers this anyway. Currently trying to load the article to see what kind of mute they mean (but it's hard on a 15KB/s connection)...

@moonbolt @twitnews ...well at least, it has systemwide mic mute if your DE provides a slider for it. KDE does, but I dunno if Gnome took it out in the name of "simplicity".

Hardware killswitches should still be a thing, though. I like how our new laptop has a built-in camera cover.

@IceWolf @twitnews .hg camera covers are extremely meh. make it an electrical disconnect!

@moonbolt @twitnews That'd be cool! Maybe a row of switches above the keyboard, like across from the power button on ours.

@moonbolt @twitnews Our Pinephone has an electrical disconnect but considering you have to pop the back off the phone to get to it, not really accessible. It should definitely be in an easier-to-reach place on laptops (and phones for that matter).

@moonbolt @twitnews Aha, yep, it is indeed "mute from within the app and not the OS" that they're talking about, and they explicitly list muting from the OS as a way to stop it.

@twitnews Or d'you mean muting from within the app, but not from the OS?

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