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Dell Hardware Privacy Support Slated For Linux 5.14

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  • Dell Hardware Privacy Support Slated For Linux 5.14

    Phoronix: Dell Hardware Privacy Support Slated For Linux 5.14

    Last year we wrote about Dell working on a hardware privacy driver for Linux as with 2021 laptops they are beginning to add hardware-based privacy buttons for disabling microphone and camera support. That Dell Hardware Privacy platform support is now set to be introduced to the mainline kernel with Linux 5.14...

    Phoronix, Linux Hardware Reviews, Linux hardware benchmarks, Linux server benchmarks, Linux benchmarking, Desktop Linux, Linux performance, Open Source graphics, Linux How To, Ubuntu benchmarks, Ubuntu hardware, Phoronix Test Suite

  • #2
    This is great!

    But you still Intel Active Management Technology (AMT) and System Management Mode (SMM). I would like to see open source firmware, open source UEFI and support for coreboot.


    • #3
      I'm kinda shocked Dell didn't have those yet. How come anyone was buying Dell for their business needs!? Is this really the case or is this just a new implementation of something they already had? I mean, come on, Lenovo has had those since they acquired IBM's PC branch, which feels like ages ago, now.


      • #4
        Dell is schizophrenic. On the one hand some of their employees are adding actual privacy features. On the other, Gamers's Nexus found: Dell's Dumpster Fire: Bloatware Uses 30% GPU and how much spyware/malware is in the dozen+ processes they run user-visible on Windows is in question.

        As with any other company: User Beware.


        • #5
          It's not really a hardware switch if it requires software is it?
          A real hardware switch would disconnect the power line to a usb hub connecting the mic and cam.
          or is the software more of a notice to the kernel that they exist but are not connected?


          • #6
            In theory the idea of it is good. In practice - it is very bad idea and ironically - it is very anti-privacy feature. System should not inform applications about hardware privacy switches status! In fact I think that also system should not be informed about this, but true - it could be confusing for users (for example some user could have issue with black image from camera software and have no idea that he/she disabled it by hardware switch).

            Look at Android. In theory Android have very sophisticated privacy minded options, requests for accesses, etc. In practice? It is bigdata harvester of user personal data not only for Google, but also for all third party applications like Facebook/WhatsApp/Messenger, TikTok, etc.

            Why? Because if you forbid for some application access to some privacy data -> Android is informing about it application -> so application will not work until you gave it these private data!!! It is just insane!!!

            Android should only pretend that some option is enabled, but in fact is disabled, so application will not be informed about user decision. The only option it is root Android and use some very sophisticated hacks to accomplish that.


            • #7
              Whose bright idea was it to put one of the hotkeys on Ctrl+F4, something that is a standard system hotkey on all operating systems?