First iPad Pro 2020 model with microphone disconnection privacy feature

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Recent Apple MacBooks have included an aggressive security feature that disconnects hardware microphones when the cover is physically closed. The functionality is designed to prevent eavesdropping on compromised material.

Starting with the recently introduced iPad Pro 2020, Apple is bringing the same privacy functionality to iPads.

Apple began using this security measure in 2018 with MacBook models equipped with Apple’s T2 security chip. The new security feature, which works by closing the iPad with a case, requires the use of an MFi-compatible accessory with the 2020 iPad Pro model.

The latest version of Apple’s platform security document reveals the new functionality:

IPad models from 2020 onwards also include disconnection of the hardware microphone. When an MFI-compatible case (including those sold by Apple) is connected to the iPad and closed, the microphone is disconnected from the hardware, preventing audio data from the microphone from being made available to any software, even with root or kernel privileges in iPadOS or in case the firmware is compromised.

Apple’s document also highlights six other new security measures in place:

Check out the 9to5Mac video on the new iPad Pro 2020 for more details on what’s new.

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