I’ll make it short: for me, covering the webcam on a laptop is a consequence of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and I find it stupid. Period. And this story of the NewYork Times (a newspaper where their credibility is going down every day) proves my point. John Gruber has an interesting article on the subject:
I have never understood the mass paranoia over laptop webcams — which have in-use indicator lights, which I’ve seen no evidence can be circumvented on Macs from the last decade — and the complete lack of similar paranoia over microphones, which cannot be blocked by a piece of tape and which have no in-use indicator lights. And I don’t see anyone taping over the cameras on their phones. This story is only going to feed that paranoia, because the takeaway is going to be “The Wall Street Journal says you should cover up your webcam.”John Gruber
On a side note, I always find IT Security guys spreading FUD. And I know what I’m talking about for being in IT for close to 30 years. They use language that very few people understand and their warnings are often justified by stories that are close to be on the science fiction side of the reality. This webcam story is exactly that: your webcam can be “hacked” and so this become a security hole. What? For this “hack” to “happen”, it takes way too many stupid actions from the user in order work. Actions that have close to zero chance to take place (turning off macro security in LibreOffice is one of them, who does that these days?).
Here is a powerful thought: so, many people are covering their webcams, because, well, you never know, yet, they drop their entire life on Facebook.
I don’t cover my laptop or iMac webcams. I’m no longer on Facebook.