Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cover Your Camera?

While sitting at the airport, waiting for my rescheduled flight to board, I noticed a guy sitting in front of me using his MacBook. It is the generation as the one I use (not the most current, but one generation back). None of this is newsworthy, really.

But, he had a piece of masking tape over his built-in camera. I had never seen anyone do that before. It was as if he wanted to make sure that his camera would not see him should it spontaneously activate.

Is that common? Do MacBook webcams activate on their own? Maybe he had one of the laptops from that Pennsylvania school district. Speaking of that, how brilliant would that have been? If you knew your school or company was able to activate the camera at will, why not stick a piece of tape over the lens?

Take that a step further. What if you could get a tiny image that would show up to the other end when they activated the camera? I would go for something like a postcard that said, "wish you were here" or maybe "peek a boo!" Better still? A tiny image of the user sticking his/her tongue out at the voyeur.

Seeing the tape did make me wonder how paranoid does one have to be to go to such lengths to cover the lens? Or, how likely is it that one's camera would come on by itself to some remote viewer? Maybe it is an ichat or skype issue. If so, wouldnt it just be easier to set the program not to automatically engage the camera? Maybe not... sticking a piece of tape over the lens is probably easier than navigating the preferences of most applications...

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