Mark Zuckerberg introduced large numbers of people to the idea of taping over their MacBook’s camera when, in 2016, he uploaded a photo that revealed a few of his security measures.
But Apple says using camera coverings can hurt MacBooks. In a new support document, Apple notes that covering the MacBook’s built-in FaceTime camera could interfere with the computer’s ambient light sensor, which is located next to the camera. The sensor controls True Tone and the Mac’s automatic brightness feature.
Apple also noted that third-party camera covers could physically damage MacBooks, since the “clearance between the display and keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances.” Some users reportedly complained about displays cracking after the application of camera covers.
MacBook camera built with safety in mind
Do you really need to physically cover up the MacBook camera? Apple says it built the FaceTime camera with safety in mind. The camera indicator light shows when the camera is in use, and Apple says the camera will not turn on unless the light is on. Additionally, MacBook owners can control which apps can use the laptop camera through System Preferences. It lets you toggle on and off camera access, and also allows users to see which apps are looking to gain access to their webcams.
If you still want to use a camera covering, Apple suggests choosing one with a thickness no greater than 0.1mm. Apple also cautions against using adhesive coverings, since they can leave a residue. Finally, the company says users should remove camera covers when they close their laptops.
Do you use a camera covering for your MacBook? Let us know in the comments below.