Are sounds transmitted when muted on meeting apps?

Databricks Vjsmwx
Dec 21, 2018 13 Comments

I know Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are likely transmitting all sounds regardless of whether the user realizes it.

Now... I was just on a call and there were loud sounds in my house while I was muted. The meeting app (zoom) kept "reminding me" to unmute myself since it could hear the sounds.

Which brings me to my main question... Are sounds being transmitted to the internet when muted on meeting platforms (e.g. Google hangouts, Skype/Teams, Webex, etc)?

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TOP 13 Comments
  • Amazon JSnowflake
    Cant speak about meeting platforms, but Alexa is not transmitting audio until the wake word is recognized on the device. Source: direct personal observation. Also, if it were, the network traffic would be obvious and it would have been reported a million times over. So no. I am certain the story is the same for Google Home. We would be getting reamed by Congress like Zuckerberg if we were lying to people about this.
    Dec 21, 2018 10
    • As someone who has a bit of knowledge developing Alexa apps and a bit of knowledge with networks , I can agree that this is the case. No mic = no wake up word = nothing transmitted
      Dec 21, 2018
    • Cisco Buk Lau
      Do a wire shark capture and come back and tell me if you have the same belief.
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Amazon JSnowflake
      It has been done many times. That was my point. Just Google Alexa wire shark. Audio is only transmitted when the wake word has been spoken.
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Oracle buzzrd
      Prevention is the only good option when there's no cure! I'm sure some loopholes are left for interpretation in the long T&C if any vendor ever lands in court.
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Facebook cMMt64
      Agree with JSnowflake, verified repeatedly by independent Security professionals that Alexa does not transmit other than when wakeword is said. It would be a massive breach of trust that would loose the entire customer base.

      OP starts post with "I know"...
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Microsoft CykaBlyat
      Nah, Amazon just gives Alexa recordings to the wrong person instead.
      Dec 23, 2018
    • Amazon JSnowflake
      Totally fair critique. Google, Amazon... none of us are immune to human errors in the chain. Removing fatfinger opportunities through aggressive automation should reduce chances though.
      Dec 23, 2018
    • Oracle buzzrd
      That's why prevention... oh well!
      Dec 23, 2018
    • Cisco / Product
      KidCisco

      Cisco Product

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      Cisco employee for 7+ years. Not based out of HQ. All my posts should be treated as water cooler conversations. Interesting but not hard facts.
      KidCiscomore
      I loved this thread. Very curious has anyone done a wireshark capture with siri, cortana and google assistant. What are the results?

      You can listen to your voice search recordings done on Google . I heard few of mine and they all had a second of audio before I said “ok Google”. All searches done on nexus phone before 2016. That made me believe nexus phones always record for Google.
      Jan 5
    • Amazon ChiknTikka
      All wakeword engines have some sort of continuous circular audio buffer of a few seconds of audio, of course. That is what they are scanning to find the wakeword. Whether its listening for OK Google or Alexa doesn't change the underlying mechanism. This buffer is just overwritten in normal circumstances.
      Jan 5
  • Cisco FIKj25
    I wouldn't be working if sounds were sent on mute during meeting😂 immediately fired
    Dec 22, 2018 0
  • Oracle buzzrd
    They all keep the microphone on at all times and only transmit when you unmute, but never take chances! That's why people tape the cam and mic when not in use.
    Dec 21, 2018 0

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