In the wake of recent news, which computer manufacturer is going to be the first to market with a news of a sliding web cam cover to protect consumer privacy? Yesterday the news broke in the Washington Post that researchers at Johns Hopkins University could prove that someone could spy on Mac users through their web cameras without activating the light that turns on when a camera is active. For those that didn’t know, the little light turning on is considered a security feature to prevent this kind of snooping. The research focused on Mac devices built prior to 2008, the researchers and other tech security analysts say that this is possible on later model devices as well. A previous Washington Post story reported that the FBI had used such a surveillance technique for years.
This kind of activity has long been suspected but now that there is a proof of concept showing it working, brains are spinning thinking of solutions beyond the simple one of putting a piece of tape over your computer’s camera. This morning former GBM blogger Sumocat tweeted this:
I think he’s right. I’m guessing that there are a few computer manufacturers scrambling and working hard right now to be able to show off devices with some sort of sliding lens cover at CES 2014. Think about it. It shouldn’t be that hard to come up with a lens cover for your laptop or desktop monitor that is always shut and slides open horizontally only when the user wishes to activate the camera. There are already privacy shields on the market for the always on Kinect camera for the Xbox One. And there are already a number of third party add on solutions to cover web cameras on the market. And you can always use tape to cover the lens. But, the first computer manufacturer out of the gate to trumpet the news of such a solution will certainly gain lots of attention in today’s world of the paranoid.
So, place your bets, ladies and gentlemen. Which company will be the first to hit on this next big thing?