Future Chromebooks will be able to detect when someone’s sneaking a peek at your screen over your shoulder.
It’s been reported previously that Google is working on a “Human Presence Sensor” for its Chromebook line. This dedicated chip would essentially enable Google’s laptops to detect any humans within the frame of the web cam.
This had been assumed to be part of Google bringing facial recognition to its Chromebook line, or as a means to lock your device when not in use. However, the company might just have a more interesting implementation of the technology in mind.
9to5Google has spotted a new flag for a feature called “snooping protection” that’s coming soon to Chrome OS. The feature “enables snooping protection to notify you whenever there is a ‘snooper’ looking over your shoulder,” and “Can be enabled and disabled from the Smart privacy section of your device settings.”
This snooping protection feature will apparently rely on the aforementioned Human Presence Sensor to detect when someone’s peeking over your shoulder. It can then take automated action, from showing you an eye icon in the status area to dimming your screen.
Google will also enable you to set your Chromebook up so that notifications stop filtering through whenever someone else is looking at your screen. All in all, it sounds like a very handy new security feature.
Given the fact that this feature will required dedicated hardware to operate, we wouldn’t expect “snooping protection” to make its way to your current Chromebook through a simple software update. It might not even be something you see in your average cheap and cheerful Chromebook.
Keep your eyes peeled for one of the smarter, more business-focused Chromebook laptops launched in 2022 to show signs of knowing when it’s being observed with snooping protection.