Chromebook users are getting a cool free upgrade to stop snoopers

Chromebook's 'lock and leave' could thwart snoopers

Chromebook stock
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google could soon launch a security-improving feature for Chromebooks that automatically dims and locks the screen when you walk away from it.

We all know by now that the best Chromebook laptops are dependable workhorses – simply put, they always get the job done and consistently improve thanks to recent updates. As Chromebooks become more commonplace in the office, stopping snoopers from invading your privacy is important and this next advancement from Google could be a game-changer.

Chrome Unboxed

(via Chrome Unboxed)

(Image credit: Chrome Unboxed)

So-called “Snooping detection,” which has existed on Chrome Canary as a developer flag for some time now, also has bundled in with it, the ability to “sense whether or not someone was looking over your shoulder at your device." Snooping protection is powered by the Human Presence Sensor. Essentially, your Chromebook would use footage from your camera to determine the number of people visible.

Chrome OS would then place an eyeball icon on your system tray if the camera detected someone behind you like, say, if you're sitting in the office and someone is on your shoulder. According to the folks over at Chrome Story, a new developer flag on Chrome OS Canary called “Enable lock on leave”, aims to take this a step further, automatically forcing your Chromebook to dim and lock itself when it detects that you're no longer sitting in front of your screen.

"Lock on leave" can be activated manually from the Smart privacy section of your device settings. Users can choose between a 30 second, 120 second, or immediate screen dimming and subsequent locking. When you're back sitting in front of your screen, the device should “undim” but there's no word on whether it can auto-unlock should the device have entered that phase of "Lock on leave."

Such privacy-conscious features are a great fit for Chromebooks, not only because they're becoming so popular in the workplace, but also due to the need to keep our data evermore secure as everything is increasingly digitized.

Luke Wilson

Luke is a former news writer at T3 who covered all things tech at T3. Disc golf enthusiast, keen jogger, and fond of all things outdoors (when not indoors messing around with gadgets), Luke wrote about a wide-array of subjects for, including Android Auto, WhatsApp, Sky, Virgin Media, Amazon Kindle, Windows 11, Chromebooks, iPhones and much more, too.