Google will soon add Electronic Privacy Screen support to Chromebooks. A code change request that we spotted today talks about “some upcoming Chromebooks” with this feature.
What is an “Electronic Privacy Screen”?
People use “privacy screens” when they work on sensitive data on public areas. For example, if you are working from an airport lounge or a coffee shop and you do not want people sitting near you to see what’s on your screen, you can stick a privacy screen on your computer.
HP recently added an “Electronic Privacy Screen” called “HP Sure View” which you can enable using a keyboard shortcut. Here is a video demo of this feature:
Some upcoming Chromebooks will have a similar feature according to a code change request that we spotted today:
Chrome OS: Add key code for privacy screen toggle
Some upcoming Chromebooks will have an electronic privacy screen which can be toggled on or off via a hotkey. When this key is pressed linux will emit a KEY_PRIVACY_SCREEN_TOGGLE keycode 0x279. There is not currently a USB HID usage for privacy screen control but there is a request in progress and is expected to be in the 0x300 range of the consumer page. We use the next avaliable device DomKey 0x60C and the next unused VKEY 0x9B.
It is unclear if this feature will come as a dedicated key or a keyboard shortcut. We will have to wait for more details to emerge as leaks or code change requests.
Do you use a physical privacy screen with your Chromebook? Let us know in the comments section.