E-ink ghosting effect can leak sensitive information such as passwords

Ghosting happens to be one of the inherent problems with e-ink displays. Because e-paper displays take longer to refresh than traditional displays, remnants of the previous display are often visible even if the display changes. While recent innovations in this area have reduced this problem to a great extent, the fact is that it has not been completely eliminated. Now, given that e-paper displays are being adopted into a wider variety of devices, such as smartphones or tablet devices, this could pose a security risk.

So if you’re in a public place where others have a chance to see what you’re doing with your device, there’s always a chance that an astute viewer will notice what you’re typing on the monitor. The specific key you entered continues to maintain focus, albeit in a faded way, but still noticeable enough that anyone can figure out what sequence of characters makes up the password. The problem is, even for a device that claims to have one of the fastest screen refresh times, this can be an issue.

This is thanks to X user @kizuki_jpn, who shared his thoughts on the new Kobo Libra Color unit. Ironically, X users highlighted the display’s excellent performance, with minimal ghosting effects. However, when entering passwords on the on-screen keyboard, the keys will continue to remain visible, as demonstrated in the image shared by the user.

It will be interesting to see if the same happens in dark mode where the surroundings have been darkened to mask the ghosting effect. It’s worth mentioning that the Kindle Paperwhite 11th generation performs better when it comes to ghosting, as keystrokes entered don’t leave any afterimages. Perhaps this is a software issue with Kobo and this issue will be improved with future updates.

With a keen interest in technology, I make it a point to keep myself updated with the latest developments in technology and gadgets. This includes smartphone or tablet devices and even extends to artificial intelligence and self-driving cars, the latter of which is my latest fad. Besides writing, I enjoy watching videos, reading, listening to music, or trying different recipes. Film is another aspect that interests me and I may make a film at some point in the future.

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