YouTube on iOS asks for your permission to send notifications, local network, and your microphone for Google Voice search. But, users have taken to Reddit to point out that YouTube is sometimes still accessing the microphone even outside the app.
As one Reddit user describes,
I was on another app and also got this. I accepted it and the red mic in use notification on the right top was on for several minutes. When I tapped on it, it took me to YouTube. Why they where listening? Who knows 😂Reddit
The vast amount of comments point to the behavior beginning only recently despite the fact that YouTube has requested permission for the microphone for some time. One user believes the behavior is meant to allow for YouTube to listen for ultrasonic sounds that are used to connect devices to Chromecast devices.
While it’s normal for YouTube to use the mic for voice to text, it remains unclear why the app continues to sometimes access the microphone outside of the app. The best thing to do you is to revoke YouTube access to your mic entirely to ensure that if there is any malicious intent, you don’t get impacted.