Why can't I join a meeting on iPhone without giving Teams access to scan my local network?

Brass Contributor

I tried to join a meeting today after updating my iPhone and now Teams won't let me join any meetings unless I give it access to scan my local network.

 

This is a gross breach of security...  is Teams scanning local networks on corporate desktop computers as well?

27 Replies
Little too much paranoia here. Teams needs access to the network so that it can connect to the server. It will also need access to your camera, microphone, and probably files.

@Ed Woodrick according to Apple:

"any app that wants to interact with devices on your [local] network must ask for permission the first time it tries to browse your local network.

...
If you don’t want to allow access, or if it’s not clear to you why the app needs access, you can tap Don’t Allow. The app can still use the internet ..."

 

Now I don't know about you, but I can't see any need for Teams to know what other devices are on my local network (home or corporate networks) and denying that ability should not prevent you from connecting to a meeting.

That's not how it works. The *Local* Network permission means it has access to all the devices in your local network, in the same way that Netflix or Spotify does to stream the content from your phone to your TV. The fact this is a mandatory permission is suspicious to say the least and completely unacceptable for a business related app.
There are a number of features in the Teams clients to try improving location and device awareness with other such devices. For example, proximity join is such a feature that allows your device to detect Microsoft Teams Rooms and start a meeting in that room.

I am surprised it's a mandatory permission and breaks meetings, but it might be related to how Apple permissions work and how the app requests control. I've not done any dev work on Apple devices to fully understand.
Support case opened because some of our users are getting the same notification. MS support have checked the information with the concerned team and this feature is an IOS Feature and not related to Teams. I hope release notes from Apple will clarify this.
The message only shows because Teams is trying to access the local network... only Microsoft has control over where it does that.
The fact it breaks even on 4G/5G not just Wifi also points to slopping coding, Not sure what local devices I can cast to when I am on 4G...
I faced the same issue 2 weeks ago.

An interesting fact is that it doesn't look like the problem appearance is related to the iOS or the app update. There was neither iOS nor the MS Teams app update on my phone at least few days prior to the event: I have automatic updates disabled; and anyway the iOS and the app were up-to-date. And everything was working fine before - including calls (both incoming and outgoing) and meetings. Then suddenly the issue happened. E.g. like if the app downloaded and applied some policy file and started to enforce new permission request.

It's only outgoing calls what is affected.
* Incoming calls work fine
* When trying to join a meeting, pop-up regarding "Local Network" permissions is shown immediately
* When trying to call a user, the connection is actually established, we can hear each other for a second or so, and then the connection is automatically silently dropped (no pop-ups or something).

That proves that the app performs some weird stuff and that "Local Network" permissions are indeed unnecessary redundant ones. As already mentioned in this topic, "Local Network" in iOS - it is about discovery of devices in local network and it does not affect the app's ability to use Internet connection.

So it looks like either:
* The MS Teams iOS app or (unlikely) iOS itself has a bug which leads to this redundant request
* Or the app plays hostage with the user forcing him to accept redundant permissions in order to discover local network for unknown reason (excessive addiction to telemetry?)

The issue was reported to MS via the app (Profile icon->Settings->Help and feedback->Report an issue). No response or any reaction from them for passed 2 weeks.
This is a new problem that I just noticed today on my iPhone!
It is very very strange that in order to join a call on teams I need to give access to Local Network! This was not the case earlier!
Its not about paranoia the teams app didn’t need access to local network before and should not need it in order to join a call!

@Aleksandar9 

 

From my point of view, it's not caused by the Teams itself, but rather the used user account.
I use two business accounts. One without permission network access does not make a call, while the other does.

Is this topics still alive? Is a contact possible for sharing details?
Regards 
Jirka

This popped up suddenly on my phone for the first time last week. What is Microsoft trying to pull here? Whether it's a bug or a feature, there is no reason for Teams to get access to my network. I have started joining calls and meetings via the web, which doesn't require access to network but which shows me as a guest participant. Very frustrating, but I'll take this inconvenience rather than give Teams the (excessive and unjustified) access it's asking for.

@Hilal1780 

 

Are you believing that Teams needs access to your network and your web browser doesn't? I hate to tell you that the web browser already has access.

 

I'm not really sure what you think that the issue is. 

This is an issue because there is no reason for Teams to have access to devices on my local network. It already has access to my camera and to my microphone, and it can connect to the internet, but I'm not giving it access to my thermostat, or my door lock, or any other device on my local network.

And no, my web browser doesn't have uncontrolled access to my local network either. Every webpage has to ask for access (microphone, location, ...) before it can get it.
It's been a year and you still don't know the difference between other types of networks, your local network (LAN) and the internet in general, what they are, how they work etc., and they aren't exactly loose terms. If you're not going to be useful why bother replying at all in a poor attempt to troll people? I mean what? Do you have stocks at Microsoft or something? This is a genuine privacy concern for an (allegedly) professional service, and I don't know about you, but I don't want Teams (or any other service for that matter) to map our ******* local network... if you can't understand that, or what LAN mapping is maybe instead you should go back to browsing cat pictures on Facebook.
Yes, local subnet is where IP address AND netmask is the same as your computer address AND netmask.
Local network, LAN is a dubious term used to reference a subnet or a collection of subnets generally considered in one location, but also behind NAT boundary. Any computer on a LAN really doesn't know that it is on a LAN.

But as was explained to you, Teams has a feature that it can communicate with other Teams devices like your desktop.

But in short, it asks for it. It needs it. And as I asked, what issues do you see with it?
"It needs it"? Sorry, but that's BS. There is no legitimate "need" there that anyone has explained so far. That "feature" (typical Microsoft) is there only to snoop around and collect data. It has no business communicating with my desktop nor with any other of my devices.
Love how you just written a bunch of words you barely seem know just to seem smart. No, it's not a dubious term, it's very clear, and no, LAN does not necessarily refer to a local subnet and neither of the two are "loose" terms, but I'm not even going to waste time to argue with you on that.

Let's say you are right and it needs that access for that specific feature, why does it not let you use the app AT ALL with that permission disabled, unlike every other single app that has similar features that require the very same permission? Your logic, or lack thereof, is just amusing. The fact you are still replying to this thread while bringing nothing to the conversation convinces me you have nothing better to do and your life must be pretty empty.
This is clearly just taking all teams features hostage to enable MS to track and disregard all users privacy. If you have any decision power try to use alternatives to teams as it brutally exploits users.