Dell is adding code into Linux to support its hardware privacy controls. Although this isn't the first time privacy has been built into a Linux-powered laptop, it is still noteworthy that one of the world's largest PC vendors now thinks Linux is so important to its audience that it has decided to support its new privacy hardware from the start.
Working from home has come with problems a few of us ever considered before. Just ask well-known New Yorker writer and pundit Jeffrey Toobin who was caught, uh, amusing himself, on a Zoom call. Wouldn't it be nice if you could be sure your webcam and microphone were off? Dell thinks so, which is why they've offered Linux kernel code to support its Dell Privacy controls.
The Dell Privacy Drivers support its newest laptops; hardware-based privacy buttons. These key combinations stop any application from accessing its laptops' built-in microphone and camera. To ensure that the microphone can't be used to listen in on you, you'll press ctrl+F4. To lock down the webcam you'll press ctrl+F9.