In September, it was learnt that tech giant Google is working on a “Human Presence Sensor” (HPS) for upcoming Chromebooks, which will bring important features like face unlock support and other Chrome OS features for users.
According to a new report by 9to5Google, the Human Presence Sensor will be utilized to activate a so-called “snooping protection” feature on future Chromebooks. This feature will determine whether or not someone is visible to the users’ Chromebook’s camera and potentially looking at their screen.
The outlet added that Google will soon be making an addition in the chrome://flags called “Enable snooping detection”, which will allow users to enable or disable the feature on supported devices.
“Enables snooping protection to notify you whenever there is a ‘snooper’ looking over your shoulder. Can be enabled and disabled from the Smart privacy section of your device settings,” reads the description of the relevant flag.
If the snoop protection feature is enabled, it will use the camera on your Chromebook to determine the presence of other people looking at your screen. There are a couple of alert options that one can choose from when someone is trying to peek at your device.
For instance, at the lowest level, Chrome OS will show an eye icon in the status bar to warn that someone is peeking over your shoulder.
Show me an eye icon in the status area
To hide your work immediately from others, Chrome OS can automatically dim your screen when it detects someone snooping.
Notify you or temporary dim your screen when someone is snooping from behind
Finally, the feature will also let you temporarily turn off notifications to protect your private conversations.
While Google hasn’t officially announced this feature yet, we don’t expect to see any Chromebooks with the snooping protection feature until 2022 at the earliest.