April 19, 2024

That tape over your webcam might not be enough — the hackers are watching; it might be the right time to install another privacy shutter.

In a report just published in Science Advances, researchers at MIT emphasized the risks to imaging privacy that ambient light sensors can offer. Users of devices worried about security may find solace in software permissions that limit webcam use and hardware solutions like shutters. Nonetheless, studies have demonstrated that one of the typical ambient light sensors used in a variety of devices can be used to collect visual data. These tiny sensors are normally permission-free on a device level and aren’t closed or deactivated by users.

Related: A Roomba Recorded a Woman Using the Bathroom, and the Pictures Wound Up on Social Media. Could That Happen to You?

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