Dell plans to add hardware kill switches for microphones and cameras to all notebook models from 2021.

With this in mind, Dell started adding support drivers to the Linux kernel.

Data protection is a major concern for you, me and every Internet user. There are applications, programs that can play audio and video streams without the user’s permission. There are even reports that, due to a bug in the software, you can’t see the activated LED on your webcam, but the applications read the feeds from your camera.

Dell Adds Hardware Privacy Drivers to Linux Kernel Example of a notebook switch

The killer’s hardware switches are useful here. If the hardware switches are disabled, you can be sure that no application is reading the microphone or camera.

Drivers are required to add hardware functions. That’s why Dell provides support for these drivers before even a laptop is released on the Linux market.

Hardware Data Protection Driver for Linux Kernel

+ dell_privacy_process_event(int type, int code, int status) warning
struct privacy_wmi_data *priv ;
const struct key_entry *key ;
mutex_lock(&list_mutex) ;
priv = list_first_entry_or_null(&wmi_list,
struct privacy_wmi_data,
list) ;
if (priv == NULL) {
pr_err(dell privacy priv is NULLn);
goto error;
key = sparse_keymap_entry_from_scancode(priv->input_dev, (type <<< 16)|code); if ( !key) { dev_dbg(&priv->wdev->dev, Unknown key with type 0x%04x and code 0x%04x pressed,
type, code);
error goto;
switch (code) {
register DELL_PRIVACY_TYPE_AUDIO : /* Microphone interruption */
priv->last_status = status;
sparse_keymap_report_entry(priv->input_dev, key, 1, true);
case DELL_PRIVACY_TYPE_CAMERA : /* break camera sound */priv->last_status = status;save_keymap_report_entry(priv->input_dev, key, 1, true);pause;pause;pause;default:dev_dbg(&priv->wdev->dev, unknown type of event %u /%u, type, code);}+ horror:mutex_unlock(&list_mutex);return;+}.

Sample code added by Dell

You can find the current code here. According to the added code, the driver works with Dell laptops equipped with Hardware Privacy Design to protect the privacy of camera and microphone users at the hardware level.

It should also be noted that under Linux hotkeys are also supported to turn off the microphone and camera, depending on the added code. Once privacy mode is activated, you can press CTRL+F4 to switch from microphone to camera by pressing CTRL+F9.

PC manufacturers Sometimes companies do not think out loud about Linux and its users when it comes to driver support, especially for new hardware features such as fingerprint scanners, hardware switches. It is still a gray area for some users who block their migration to Linux and wonder if the functions of my laptop work under Linux.

However, it is nice to see what the world’s largest PC manufacturers think of Linux and its users. And that means extra support from the start – in this case before the material is executed. At this point, it is not known which Dell series laptops will be equipped with a hardware vending machine.

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Dell Adds Hardware Privacy Drivers to Linux Kernel

See also

linus torvalds,windows

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