Covering up the camera on a MacBook could cause damage to the computer’s display, Apple warned earlier this month.
Putting a camera cover on could damage the display because the clearance between the screen and keyboard is tight, Apple wrote on its website July 2. Certain features, like automatic brightness or Apple’s “True Tone” image technology, might also fail if the camera is covered. Instead of using a camera cover, users should rely on the green light to tell if the camera is on, Apple said.
“We design Apple products to protect your privacy and give you control over your information. Our products and features include innovative privacy technologies and techniques designed to minimize how much of your data we — or anyone else — can access,” the company wrote. “And powerful security features help prevent anyone except you from being able to access your information.”
Covering a computer’s webcam is something many people do to prevent hackers from watching them – a legitimate concern, according to several sources. The Wall Street Journal reported last year that certified ethical hacker Alexander Heid was able to hack into an entire home network of cameras, including one on a MacBook Air. USA Today warned readers about possible webcam hackers in 2018, and in April, Digital Trends published a guide on how to tell if a hacker is spying on you.
Former FBI Director James Comey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg both put tape over their computer cameras. Comey said in 2016 that covering your webcam is one of the “sensible things you should be doing.” (RELATED: FBI Director Explains Why He Puts Tape Over His Webcam)
3 things about this photo of Zuck:
Camera covered with tape
Mic jack covered with tape
Email client is Thunderbird pic.twitter.com/vdQlF7RjQt
— Chris Olson (@topherolson) June 21, 2016
“You go into any government office and we all have the little camera things that sit on top of the screen,” the former FBI director said. “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.”
If you are going to cover your camera, Apple said to make sure the cover is no thicker than 0.1mm – the thickness of an average piece of printer paper – and to be sure the cover won’t leave residue when it’s taken off. If your cover is thicker than 0.1mm, Apple added, take it off before closing your laptop.