HP Unveils Laptops With Integrated Privacy Screen

Stop visual hackers and shoulder snoopers in their tracks with HP’s 3M-collaborated built-in privacy screen

HP has today unveiled new laptops that feature an integrated ‘privacy screen’ to stop salivating snoopers spying on your on-screen Excel antics.

The HP Sure View, which is a new option on the HP EliteBook 1040 and the EliteBook 840 (main image) due to launch in September, works by pressing the Fn+F2 key, shifting your screen into privacy mode. HP said that privacy mode reduces up to 95 percent of visible light when viewed at an angle, making it difficult for others to view information on screen.


Of course, privacy screens have been available to purchase for years. One of the biggest suppliers for the matte sheets that fit over your laptop screen is US manufacturing company 3M, which also provides the technology for HP’s new feature.

Prevent the visual hacking demonstrated in this image
Prevent the visual hacking demonstrated in this image

HP said the security option will stop ‘visual hacking’, which TechWeekEurope finds to be a glorious piece of PR jargon.

“As the threat of data privacy evolves, more and more organisations are taking the issue of visual hacking seriously,” said Makoto Ishii, vice president and general manager, Display Materials and Systems Division, 3M.

“Designed with more than 20 years of 3M optical films technology experience incorporated into the privacy screen, HP Sure View helps address the concern of protecting sensitive information through a world-class solution tailor-made for open work environments and for the mobile worker.”

3M said it recently teamed up with the Ponemon Institute to assess the real threat to company data by snoopers having a peak over your shoulder. The study found nine out of 10 attempts to acquire sensitive business information using only visual means were successful, with nearly four pieces of private information visually hacked per trial. Visual hacking can also impact employee productivity, given almost 60 percent of employees take their work outside of office walls, said 3M.

“As today’s workforce moves away from exclusively working in office environments to more public locations, hackers are using visual hacking, which allows them to collect confidential information by looking at someone else’s screen,” said Benoit Bonnafy, vice president, Business Personal Systems EMEA, HP Inc. “The addition of HP Sure View to our security solutions on Elite notebooks gives customers peace of mind and the freedom to work where they choose without fear of exposing sensitive data.”

Take our cybersecurity in 2016 quiz here!