Recent MacBooks have included a security feature that mutes the microphone at the hardware level when the cover is closed. Apple has now introduced the same functionality on the iPad, starting with the iPad Pro 2020. The iPad doesn’t have a cover, of course, so Apple instead turns on the mic mute every time a case with the The company’s “Made for iPad” certification is closed on the screen. It should work with Apple’s Smart Folio, Smart Keyboard Folio and the upcoming Magic Keyboard (scheduled for May), among other third party cases.
The functionality is described in the latest version of the Apple Platform Security Guide, initially identified by 9to5Mac. As the guide points out, disconnection means that no software can engage the microphone when the cover is closed – even if your operating system has been compromised. This is good news for anyone who is concerned about government surveillance or any other surveillance.
The security measure entered Apple hardware in 2018, starting with the MacBook Air and the Mac mini. It came after the discovery of certain high-level security vulnerabilities in Macs, such as the Fruitfly malware, which allowed hackers to gain full remote control of a Mac, including its mouse, keyboard, and his webcam.