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Here’s why muting your mic during a video call won’t stop tech companies from recording you / Digital Information World

Big tech companies are notorious for harvesting pretty huge amounts of data from people who use their services, and video conferencing apps are particularly troublesome in this regard. A new study conducted by researchers from University of Wisconsin recently revealed that these apps don’t just record parts of your audio, rather they record all of that data even if you cut your audio with everything considered and accounted for.

The research went beyond just confirming that video conferencing apps do this and tried to see how much audio data they could harvest if their in-app mute buttons were activated. With all that said and now out of the way, it’s important to note that one of the apps they tested ended up recording all of your raw audio if you had muted yourself, and all software recorded to at least some of your audio, whether or not your mic is enabled in the app.

Various machine learning models were used in this research, and all of the results indicated that big tech doesn’t care as much about user privacy as they try to make it out to be. What’s even more concerning is that we just don’t know what they might be trying to use this data for, and it’s likely that this data is being used to optimize their services, although that’s not something which they should be able to do without obtaining the prior consent of their users.

The best way to stop tech companies from recording you is to mute the sound due to the fact that it’s the kind of thing that could potentially prevent any sound from entering your system in the first place. Muting your system and then unmuting it in the app will give you a fairly safe space to talk freely, as there would be no raw data that these companies could obtain from you, thus giving you a reasonable level of privacy and freedom.

With remote work continuing to be incredibly prevalent around the world, many big tech companies are trying to take advantage of it by harvesting as much data as possible for their apps to access. Therefore, users should always be vigilant, but despite the fact that this is the case, a surprisingly small proportion of them take the necessary steps to protect their privacy. This could lead to many other issues for user privacy and general data usage.

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