Can Microsoft Teams Be Used To Spy on You [2024 Latest Update]

Written By Steven Arends

I agree user data privacy is an indispensable subject to be ensured. But, from an employer’s perspective, tracking employee activity and progress, in general, is no less critical. 

And Microsoft Teams has turned out to be a game-changer in the corporate world. But, the million-dollar question is, as an employee, should you worry about the action of Microsoft Teams?


No big reason to worry, but still, there are some cases that, if you want, you can consider precarious. To sort it out, I will be right there throughout this article as a technological geek. 

Can Microsoft Teams spy on you?

So, keep reading, and please do not skip any section as I will make a thorough discussion.

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Difference between Spying & Recording Activities

Lately, the concept, along with the practice of working from home, is no any more elusive. Therefore, tracking is absolutely okay up to a certain stage. It, moreover, enhances the gross productivity of an office. So, to measure the efficacy of each employee while doing office works remotely, the work-related activities during office hours should be recorded and analyzed.


But, accruing the employee’s data without their sincere concern, you may coin it as Spying. By no means, when you are on a video call, the employer should not access the microphone or camera of an employee to check what they do otherwise. This is simply an unauthorized and officious act.

If you use an MS Teams account managed by your company and a computer that belongs to your employer, you are one step ahead of being watched.

Microsoft’s Planning for Employers

Following the report of Business Insider, the world’s tech giant Microsoft just released a new tool, Productivity Score. As presumed, soon after the announcement, this tool created a buzz in people’s private world. 

When all the employees of an office use Microsoft products, it becomes a child’s play for MS to track them on. Based on a wide range of criteria like how long they use Outlook, how active they are in Teams, how often they are busy with direct messages, etc. Microsoft will give each employee a score out of 800.

But before that, do check our latest post on the Change Your Background on Microsoft Teams

Apparently, this grade will reflect how productive they are. Then the tool will automatically analyze and organize the individual scores to generate a complete company average. Eventually, the employers will use it with the ones of their rivals to compete in business.

This way, Microsoft can play a pivotal role in ensuring a healthy competition and business environment in the industry.

What can my Employer see on MS Teams? 

Microsoft Teams made the task of tracking easier for an employer. He can also track your location through location sharing. Furthermore, all of your activities can be traced if you work with your mates using MS Teams. They will be able to see what exactly you were doing and when by just checking the Usage reports.

However, there is a line of how much the Microsoft Teams will allow an employer to know about his employees. In short, the power of tracking is not absolute and prejudiced.


Check out the easiest way to Share My Screen on Microsoft Teams.

Without your approbation, it is not plausible for your employer to access your computer microphone and camera to spy on you when you are not in a meeting or call.

Privacy Settings of Microsoft Teams

If you do not want to allow a third party to intervene in your privacy, you can enable some changes to your settings. These changes might not protect you by every means; to an acceptable extent, they can save you, for sure. In addition, it is essential for the peace of your mind as well.


Here are the settings you can check to improve your security:

  • Go to Windows Settings. Block Teams from accessing your camera and microphone when you are not in a call or meeting. Of course, you will need that. For this, check the option so that MS Teams seeks permission to re-enable your webcam and microphone when you are actively sharing screens in meetings.
  • Open the App Settings and block the Contacts, disable Read Receipts.
  • Click on Manage team and tweak member permissions if you are a team owner. For more, set up guest permissions.

Go through our epic guide on Microsoft Teams Can’t Change Status from Offline

How to Protect Privacy at My Workplace 

It is true that Microsoft developed some phenomenal tools to benefit both employers and employees. Still, its Teams and Productivity Score, two questioned tools belittled their entire efforts. Now, we will have to wait and see if businesses of this date finalize to adopt these tools. 

But, if you have somehow an unshakable feeling that someone is watching you clandestinely through your webcam, take immediate steps to resolve your doubts. As a primary measure, cover your webcam with dark-colored tape. Make sure you are not seen through your device camera. Then, think otherwise.


Can Microsoft Teams Detect Background Apps?

No. Microsoft Teams can only track what is happening within the Teams. 

Can Teams Video Calls Be Monitored?

It is possible. If you are using Microsoft Teams with a work email on a company computer, chances that your employer is taping conversations and recording calls are not denied. And, most possibly, you will not be notified anyway about that. 

Can Teachers See Private Messages on Teams? 

No. If you are a student and think your teachers can check your private messages on Teams, I assure you that they cannot. As long as you are using a personal Teams account on your device, your teachers cannot access your private chats.

What are Microsoft’s privacy commitments for Teams? 

Microsoft made a promise to deal with your Teams user data in a manner that does not compromise your privacy.

Here are the privacy commitments for Teams:

  • Microsoft guarantees it does not use your Teams data for advertisement purposes.
  • When your Team subscription has ended or expired, Microsoft will delete your data.
  • The company does not track multi-tasking activities in Teams meetings.
  • Third parties cannot access your user data. The company also defined clear requirements when it comes to government requests for data.

Final words

To sum up, almost cent percent of products developed by Microsoft is above doubts. Some whispering is emerging in the corporate world related to their Teams and other few software. That’s why Microsoft, as a tech giant, is trying its level best to establish secured connectivity between the employers and the employees. 

I will tell you Teams can serve you beyond your thoughts as long as you are using it in your own device under your own surveillance. When this set-up is given to you by your company, I recommend you use it in a careful manner.  

Was this article helpful? I hope so. Still, you have any queries, comment in the box below. I will try to get back to you soon.

About The Author
Steven Arends is a computer science graduate and tech enthusiast with over 10 years of experience in the field. He has a vast collection of computer hardware and loves exploring the latest advancements. As a contributing author to 10Scopes, Steven shares his expertise to make the world of technology more accessible and easier to understand for all readers.

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