Secure iPhone Screen Protection

3M recently sent me a sample of their new 3M Mobile Privacy Film, a twelve dollar adhesive screen protector with "microlouver technology" (essentially what looks like a polarization filter). When applied, this layer makes the screen appear dark and fuzzy when not looking directly at the screen. The margin of angle is fairly tight and the filter does what it advertises. Of course, this also means that watching videos on the iPhone can become a challenge due to the exact nature of the viewing angle necessary to watch without blurring the image.

When I showed the applied film to my son, he was unimpressed, proposing if someone wanted to protect their screen data from prying eyes that they could simply shield their screen with their free hand. While that might not be a practical alternative, it does ask the question of the what audience is 3M appealing to. Clearly this is a product for C-Level executives with trade-secret confidentiality and paranoid security specialists who practice what they preach. However, for the majority of iPhone users, the 3M Mobile Privacy Film may be too great a trade-off of convenience for privacy.

For more information on the #M Mobile Privacy Film, visit

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Mike Riley is a frequent contributor to several technical publications and specializes in emerging technologies and new development trends. Mike was previously employed by RR Donnelley as the company’s Chief Scientist, responsible for determining innovative technical approaches to improve the company’s internal and external content services. Mike also co-hosted Computer Connection, a technology enthusiast show broadcast on Tribune Media's CLTV.