ChromeOS is getting system-wide camera and microphone toggles


Image: Michael Homnick/Foundry

ChromeOS is quickly closing the gap with Windows and MacOS in terms of features, if not in full capability. Yesterday, Google announced a new suite of security measures coming to the platform later this year, designed to provide more options for both standard users and system administrators. A particular highlight is the ability to manually turn off access to the webcam and microphone on a laptop or tablet for all apps, right in the main Settings menu.

At the moment, ChromeOS treats camera and mic access just like the browser does: on a site-by-site and app-by-app basis. This system-wide toggle would override settings for individual websites and, in the words of Google Cloud’s blog post, provide “extra confidence in staying on mute.” An exact timeframe for the feature to hit current ChromeOS devices was not provided.

The rest of the security features announced in the post are more corporate-focused. Chrome Enterprise customers will allow admins to monitor Chromebooks and other hardware with Crowstrike Falcon Insight XDR, a unified risk assessment and response platform. This lets you monitor USB activity, logins, and use of the common Chrome Remote Desktop tool. New integrations with Azure, Netskipe Intelligent SSE, and Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps will allow conditional directory access as well.

Author: Michael Crider, Staff Writer

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.


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