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We Want These Privacy Sliders In Any Gadget With a Webcam

If you have a laptop, you have a camera pointed at your face every time you use it. This can understandably make you a little paranoid. Rather than resign yourself to assuming some government or hacker can watch you do whatever you use your laptop for, HP is adding a privacy slider to its laptops. Every device should do this.

The privacy slider is a small plastic tab that you can slide in front of your webcam when you’re not using it. That means even if someone manages to break into your laptop and spy through your camera, they won’t see anything but a piece of plastic. Sometimes the best solution are the simplest.

To be clear, HP is by no means the first company to add a feature like this. Lenovo added privacy sliders to several of its laptops it showed off at CES this year. We even saw the slider on Lenovo’s Smart Display, which is essentially a Google Home with a screen and a webcam. Understandably, you might not want to put an always-connected webcam in your home without some ability to block it, so the privacy slider is a welcome feature.

These sliders feel like such a basic privacy protection feature that we’d love to see them on everything. Not all smart devices are inherently secure and the more cameras you put in your house in different devices, the less comfortable it can be to walk through your own home. Privacy sliders are an elegant and cost effective solution to this problem. So, device manufacturers, maybe we could make this one standard?

Source: The Verge

Eric Ravenscraft Eric Ravenscraft
Eric Ravenscraft has nearly a decade of writing experience in the technology industry. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, PCMag, The Daily Beast, Geek and Sundry, and The Inventory. Read Full Bio »