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Privacy button

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129034D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Sep-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Sep-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 84K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The object of this invention is to add a dedicated privacy button on computer keyboards or mouses to enable users to launch a combination of high priority tasks to hide their confidential and private data on their personal computer screen.

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Privacy button

Main Idea

Personal computers offer today a wide variety of applications to end-users: word-processing, gaming, online-shopping, banking, .... Users may have to deal with personal or confidential data or applications. The problem is that the use of electronic screens makes difficult for these users to hide their personnal or confidential data from the persons arround them. Users can isolate themselves in a room, but whatever they are doing, their computer screen can be seen by a person suddenly coming in the room.

Some solutions already exist but are not fully usable: - Software combination of keys (ex: ALT-TAB on Windows) Drawbacks: no configuration possible, must select one application in foreground (which potentially also comprises private data) - Keyboard shortcuts Drawbacks: specific to the OS (Operating System), the speed execution depends on the PC load - Function key on the personal computer (for instance on IBM thinkpads Fn+F3 which switch off the screen) Drawbacks: no configuration possible, not related to privacy, execution depends on the OS (the speed to turn off the monitor is not high enough)

The addition of a dedicated privacy button on a keyboard or mouse would enable the user to launch a combination of high priority tasks to hide his activity on his personal computer screen. This invention takes into account the sense of urgency that exists when trying to hide any data or application displayed on a computer screen.

The method according to the present invention includes the following tasks : - muting the speakers; - displaying a blank screen or dedicated printscreen; - locking the computer, ...

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In order to execute these tasks as fast as possible, the interception of the key code associated with the Privacy button must be managed at a low level. Management at the OS (Operating System) level is not acceptable. A management via the BIOS (Basic Inp...