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Google ups Chromebook privacy with new camera and mic switch

The Chrome OS logo on the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Google is adding new systemwide camera and microphone access toggles in ChromeOS settings that can instantly block all apps and sites from being able to use them.

The new systemwide privacy controls cut off the rest of the computer’s access to the hardware, which, for all intents and purposes, is a software replacement to the physical camera and mic kill switch one can find on various PC laptops.

But instead of adding hardware switches that cut power to the camera, like on Framework’s Chromebook or even a simple plastic sliding gate that obscures the lens, Chromebook manufacturers can simplify the laptop design and use the built-in ChromeOS solution instead. Of course, there’s nothing more secure than a full-on severance of power to the…

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