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Privacy enhancements aimed at further enticing enterprise customers to use Google’s operating system.

This week Google unveiled a suite of new cybersecurity features that aim to make the tech giant’s OS offering more attractive to business client admins. Featuring among these new offerings is an OS-based system for ensuring user privacy when making video calls, attending a virtual meeting or conference, or otherwise making use of a device’s camera and microphone.

Tony Ureche, the Head of Security, Identity, and Privacy for ChromeOS, described the new privacy features in a blog post. “Later this year, users will be able to manage their camera and microphone settings across the operating system from one place in Settings”, he explains. “This way it only takes one click for users to completely turn off their camera or microphone all from one place when they need extra confidence in staying on mute”.

A software solution rather than a physical “kill-switch”

The newly introduced privacy controls are system-wide, meaning they can cut off the rest of the computer’s access to the hardware. This blocks all other applications from accessing the camera and the microphone. The tool is thus a software replacement to the physical kill switches for camera and mic that are found on other PCs, laptops and other devices.

The new OS-based privacy setting offers an advantage to Chromebook manufacturers as well. Instead of adding hardware switches that cut power to the camera or physical covers that slide over the lens, they can simply use the built-in ChromeOS solution instead.

These new camera and mic controls are part of a larger effort by Google to make ChromeOS and Chromebooks themselves more robust from a security point of view. The move aims to entice enterprise IT administrators to embrace the ChromeOS-Chromebook platform enterprise-wide as a way to make their jobs easier and their systems more secure.

As Ureche says in his post, Google’s new security offerings prove that “ChromeOS continues to innovate and make the modern workplace safe and trusted”.