Is my lap­top se­cretly watch­ing me?

Mac Format - - APPLE TALK -

This is not an SOS but pos­si­bly a hid­den fea­ture ob­ser­va­tion I’ve made. Please cor­rect me if I’m wrong be­cause a brief search on the web sug­gests I’m the only one to have no­ticed this. Af­ter putting my iMac into sleep mode and I re­turn to my home of­fice af­ter a long pe­riod, I’m con­vinced that my iMac’s cam­era de­tects my move­ment and wakes it up, an­tic­i­pat­ing that I’m about to log in. It doesn’t turn on the screen but gets the lo­gin screen ready for when I hit a key or click the mouse. I’m only sus­pect­ing this be­cause I have ex­ter­nal drives that start spin­ning when I en­ter the room. I’m not quite sure if my iMac hard drive starts too due to the noise from them but I think it must do. I’ve al­ways thought ‘how clever’ though some­times I do think it’s a bit ‘Big Brother’ spooky! Moel­wyn Hop­kins This does hap­pen, but it isn’t us­ing the cam­era. The cam­era is con­nected to the green LED through a hard­ware in­ter­lock, so it can’t be ac­tive with­out also turn­ing on the LED. In­stead, OS X uses the am­bi­ent light sen­sor to de­tect move­ment in front of the screen. This should only stop the Mac from go­ing to sleep; it won’t make it ‘ get ready’ if it’s al­ready asleep. But ex­ter­nal drives might be trig­gered to wake up that way.

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