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Can a mac book pro's webcam be activated without its light being turned on?

#1 User is offline   sfeine 

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 03:37 PM

Can a mac book pro's (15" 2008) web cam be activated without its led lighting up?
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#2 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 07:33 PM

To my knowledge, no...but I supposed it is theorectically possible, but likely might require some serious hacking.
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#3 User is offline   zarmanto 

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 07:21 AM

This question has been posed in other forums before, but I don't think that anyone who would actually know has entered into the discussion. The crux of the matter revolves around whether or not Apple implemented the LED by hard-wiring it directly to the webcam, or by controlling it with software activation alongside with the webcam. If they hard-wired it, then obviously the only way to disable the LED would be to literally cut a wire inside of your computer -- which would permanently disable the LED, and which is obviously not a good idea. If Apple's drivers are controlling it via software... then as smax said, you'd probably have to do some serious hacking to disable it, but it would at least be theoretically possible.

Another thought: If you're trying to get an idea of who's using your computer when you're not around, then one subtle -- but not entirely undetectable -- way of catching them in the act might be to write a program which activates the camera for a very brief moment... just long enough to capture a photo of (hopefully) whoever is sitting in front of it. In this situation, chances are that they wouldn't really give much thought to it, since it barely blinked at them -- unless they're already suspicous that you're trying to catch them, of course. Still: once the photo has been snapped and sent off to your e-mail address, the evidence is in hand and the damage is done -- for better or for worse.

From the other point of view... If you're only trying to find out if someone else is somehow spying on you: Just put a sticky note over the camera before you turn on the laptop, and don't worry about it. :)
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