In a recently released support document, Apple has warned users that they must not use camera covers on their MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.
Placing a cover, sticker, or tape over a laptop’s camera became a popular tactic ever since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was spotted covering his MacBook’s camera with tape back in 2016. It’s practiced by a lot of privacy and security-conscious users around the world, to prevent webcam hijacking.
However, Apple advises against it.
According to Apple, closing your MacBooks with a camera cover on it might damage your display. Apple says this is because “the clearance between the display and keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances.”
In addition to that, Apple warns that besides the camera, using covers can also “interfere with the ambient light sensor and prevent features like automatic brightness and True Tone from working.”
As for privacy, Apple suggests that the green light next to the camera should be used as an indicator of when the camera is active. It says, “as an alternative to a camera cover, use the camera indicator light to determine if your camera is active, and decide which apps can use your camera in System Preferences.”
Further, in a case where the camera needs to be covered inevitably, Apple suggests that the camera should not be thicker than 0.1 mm, avoid using a cover that leaves an adhesive residue like a tape, and if you do install a cover thicker than 0.1 mm, then make sure you remove it every time you shut the lid of the laptop.
The support document was likely revealed after various reports on Reddit claimed that camera covers were leading to display cracking on MacBooks and especially the 16-inch MacBook Pro.