Apple has revealed that the new 2020 iPad Pro features a hardware microphone disconnect for added security. This privacy feature was already available on select MacBooks; however, this is the first time it's been been available for iPad.
The change was noted in Apple's Platform Security document for Spring 2020.
All Mac portables with the Apple T2 Security Chip feature a hardware disconnect that ensures the microphone is disabled whenever the lid is closed. On the 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air computers with the T2 chip, and on the 15-inch MacBook Pro portables from 2019 or later, this disconnect is implemented in hardware alone. The disconnect prevents any software—even with root or kernel privileges in macOS, and even the software on the T2 chip—from engaging the microphone when the lid is closed. (The camera is not disconnected in hardware, because its field of view is completely obstructed with the lid closed.)
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