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Circuit Breaker

Laptops should include built-in webcam covers

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

A new company called Striiiipes — yes that’s not a typo — launched leather webcam covers on Kickstarter earlier this month that have already exceeded their funding goal. Granted, that goal was only $125, but the fact that people are throwing money at a leather webcam cover company shows that, really, all laptops should include webcam covers.

The leather covers are sticky and reusable, so presumably you can take them off for video calls and then put them back on without them leaving residue. But it’s not an elegant solution, and clearly speaks to people’s worry about their privacy and desire for some sort of solution. Although this probably works well enough, I prefer a slider that you can open when having a video call.

HP’s recent EliteBooks, for example, include built-in webcam covers, and some of these new phones coming out of Asia that include pop-up or slide-out cameras effectively hide their webcams without a dedicated cover. A webcam cover won’t solve all your security concerns — microphones still present a security risk — but it could at least put your mind at ease a bit. We deserve sliders on everything! This is my new platform, and I’m sticking to it.