It is not a refrigerator, a washing machine, an autonomous car or a mobile. Not even a laptop or one of those new Smart Displays. For me, the surprise of this CES 2018 has been given by a simple plastic cover: the one that allows us to protect our privacy in the ThinkPad X1 Carbon webcam.
That simple mechanism called ‘ThinkShutter‘ that allows sliding a switch to activate or deactivate the webcam is an idea so overwhelmingly logical that makes us wonder why nobody had done it before.
Protect (a little) your privacy does not cost much
It is true that plugging the webcam does not guarantee that bad guy can not spy on you by other methods, but we have known for some time that the RAT (Remote Administration Tools) that allow controlling the webcam of any computer remotely without the user knowing is a type of cyber attack very widespread.
There are many solutions to cover it – a simple sticker fulfills that function – but it is curious that until now no laptop manufacturer (that we know) offered such an option in a native way. Covering the webcam is something that the director of the FBI recommends and even Zuckerberg does on his team, and although the problem is extendable to many other devices (to begin with, our mobiles) and components (the microphone integrated into all of them), the decision of Lenovo is commendable.
So far we’ve only seen something like that and maybe we’ve missed some examples in the HP Pavilions that showed up last year, but these were desktop computers with a particularly eye-catching webcam hiding system.
In Lenovo have decided to go for a simpler way in their ThinkPad X1 Carbon – is also present in the new T480S, T480, and T580 – but in the end, the advantage is the same: to protect (a little) our privacy from the start.