Apple Issues Damage Warning For MacBook Users

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Apple MacBook users are being warned of possible damage to their displays if they close their notebook with a camera cover in place

Apple has issued a rare warning about possible damage for MacBook range, if customers use a camera cover on the camera.

The iPad maker warned that using a camera cover and then closing their notebook, can lead to display damage.

This is because the space tolerances between the display and the keyboard is very tight indeed, and besides covering the camera, it can also cause issues with automatic brightness and True Tone.

MacBook Display

Macrumour first reported on the problem, after Apple published this support document.

“Closing your Mac notebook with a camera cover on it might damage your display,” Apple warned, before elaborating in greater detail.

“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,” Apple said.

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

Apple said that its FaceTime HD camera built into user’s Mac computer is “designed with your privacy in mind and uses a camera indicator light that glows green when the camera is active. So you will always know when the camera is on.”

Apple said that its camera is engineered so that it can’t activate without the camera indicator light also turning on, and users can control which apps have access to the built-in camera.

Apple said that if a person’s work environment requires them to cover the camera on their Mac notebook, users should make sure the camera cover is not thicker than an average piece of printer paper (0.1mm); avoid using a camera cover that leaves adhesive residue; and if the user installs a camera cover that is thicker than 0.1mm, remove the camera cover before closing their computer.

Privacy issue

Webcams found in laptops and MacBooks have been a potential privacy risk if hacked by outside actors for a while now.

In July last year, a researcher uncovered a vulnerability with the Zoom video conferencing app on Apple Macs that allowed for remotely activation of the notebook’s webcam.

Then in November 2019, Facebook noted a potential bug that saw its iOS app quietly turn on the cameras found on the iPhone or iPad.

And the problem also impacts the rich and famous.

In 2016, a photo of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in his open plan office revealed that his laptop camera was covered with tape to prevent people from spying on him.

Can you protect your privacy online? Take our quiz!

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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