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ChromeOS expanded by Google cuts off the camera and microphone

ChromeOS expanded by Google cuts off the camera and microphone

In ChromeOS settings, Google has added new systemwide toggles that automatically disable the use of cameras and microphones by all apps and sites.

Systemwide privacy controls prevent other components of the computer from accessing the hardware, which is, in essence, the software equivalent to the physical camera and mic kill switches on some PC laptops.

Chromebook manufacturers can simplify the laptop design by using the built-in ChromeOS solution rather than adding hardware switches that disable the camera, like Framework’s Chromebook, or even a simple plastic sliding gate that obscures the lens. One can always adhere to a plastic sliding gate for a visual confirmation to confirm the power has been cut to the camera and microphone.

The ChromeOS camera and mic toggles will be available in a future software update, according to Google. Chromebook users will access a new Privacy Controls section once the update arrives. It will be found under Settings > Security and Privacy.

In addition, Google is expanding its enterprise-oriented security features to include identity management and data control tools that help IT departments manage user logins and prevent sensitive data from traveling outside of organizations inadvertently.

Additionally, it allows users to prevent sensitive files from being shared to places they shouldn’t be, print only to the right locations, and suppress copy-and-paste capabilities to prevent text from getting copied.

In order to improve Chromebook integration within IT departments’ environments, Google is working with third-party enterprise management and security firms such as Palo Alto Networks, CrowdStrike, Microsoft, and others.

The XDR connector framework of Google can now be used to link up Chromebooks and Falcon platforms in organizations using CrowdStrike XDR integration for threat monitoring.

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Also available from Google are connectors for organizations using Chronicle and Cortex for access event reporting, and Azure AD and Netskope for identity management.

With these new tools, Chromebooks could become an attractive enterprise notebook option since ChromeOS is largely focused on mobile device management. A Chromebook is a cheap option to consider, but they also have short lifespans and are difficult to repair, according to the US Public Interest Research Group Education Fund.

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