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HP partners with 3M to bundle privacy screens with notebooks

Have you ever worried about typing in or accessing sensitive information when using your laptop in a public place? According to HP sources, you should be, as around 90 percent of the attempts to steal information from people in that manner were successful. It’s difficult to know who’s watching and even if you do know, blocking their view can be problematic. Enter 3M’s privacy screens.

The reflective technology works by altering the ability to view your main display, but at the same time allowing you to sit in front of the screen as usual and continue working away as if nothing had changed. If anyone tries to view from an angle greater or less than 90 degrees, though, they won’t be able to see anything. And now those privacy screens are going to be integrated into select HP laptops.

“With more and more PCs being used in public places, visual hacking — the act of collecting confidential information by looking at someone else’s screen — is a paramount security risk in today’s business environment,” said Alex Cho, vice president and general manager, Commercial PCs, HP. “We’re working with 3M to deliver world-class solutions that not only protect the privacy of the individual user, but also provides security for valuable company assets.”

Related: Are screens scrambling our kids’ brains? We asked an expert

It’s not made clear which laptops will have the integrated privacy screen in their display, or how users will “turn on” the functionality. Neither HP or 3M have announced when these notebooks might be released either, or whether incorporation of the feature will affect the price of the hardware it is applied to.

The real question though, is: is this a feature that you would be willing to pay for? Have any of you guys used a 3M privacy screen in the past? If so, what did you think? Is it something we all need?