2020 iPad Pro first model with microphone hardware disconnect privacy feature

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

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

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Apple started 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 using an MFi compliant accessory with the 2020 model iPad Pro.

The latest version of Apple’s Platform Security document reveals the new feature:

iPad models beginning in 2020 also feature the hardware microphone disconnect. When an MFI compliant case (including those sold by Apple) is attached to the iPad and closed, the microphone is disconnected in hardware, preventing microphone audio data 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 9to5Mac’s video review of the new 2020 iPad Pro for more details about what’s new.

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Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.