Apple warns against covering the camera on MacBooks

Rob Waugh
·3-min read
Apple warned users not to cover the webcam (Apple)
Apple warned users not to cover the webcam. (Apple)

Mark Zuckerberg was spotted covering the camera on his own laptop, to prevent unwanted eyes peering through it – but Apple isn’t so keen on the idea.

The tech giant this week warned users not to close MacBook laptops with a cover over the camera, MacRumors reported.

The company said doing so can damage the display, and can also interfere with sensors built into the computer.

The statement comes after complaints from users on Reddit and other platforms that their devices have smashed after they applied webcam covers for privacy reasons.

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Apple said: “If you close your Mac notebook with a camera cover installed, you might damage your display because the clearance between the display and keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances.

“Covering the built-in camera might also interfere with the ambient light sensor and prevent features like automatic brightness and True Tone from working.

Concept of privacy, online security or safety with using a computer to prevent spying
Many security experts suggest you should put a cover over your webcam (Getty)

“As an alternative to a camera cover, use the camera indicator light to determine if your camera is active, and decide which apps can use your camera in System Preferences.”

The cameras on Apple laptops are designed so they cannot be accessed without the green “on” light switching on, MacRumors reported.

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A technology repair expert told ZDNet more users have been putting tape over cameras because the pandemic has led to increased numbers of people working from home.

Putting tape or a covering over a webcam means that even if hackers gain access to a device, they still can’t see you.

Malware such as Remote Access Trojans can give cybercriminals unfettered access to a device, including the webcam.

Many security experts advise users to cover their webcams to protect their privacy.

The then FBI director James Comey said in 2014: ‘‘I think people ought to be taking personal responsibility for their own safety and security. So there are some sensible things you ought to be doing and that [covering the webcam] is one of them.

“You go into any government office, we all have our little camera things that sit on top of the screen. They all have a little lid that closes down on them. You do that so that people who don’t have authority don’t look at you. I think that’s a good thing.”

Read more: Apple’s new iPhone SE offers most of the features at a fraction of the price

Apple delayed mass production of new iPhone handsets but is still bringing out four new models this year, according to supply chain sources.

A report by the Wall Street Journal suggested that Apple will release four new iPhones this year, armed with 5G connectivity for faster internet.

The delay comes in the wake of coronavirus-related shutdowns in Apple factories, the WSJ reported.

Apple’s biggest iPhone plant was hit by restrictions placed on Chinese workers earlier this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Apple supplier Foxconn’s factory at Zhengzhou in Henan province, with 200,000 workers, barred workers from outside the local area.

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