Silverlight has attracted little attention on Netflix Underground. Basically, some Netflix subscribers hate Silverlight, have loads of problems with it, wish they had never installed it, and are now stuck with it. There just was not much else to mention.
Now, however, a Netflix Undergrounder is claiming that Silverlight accessed his/her personal webcam and microphone without his/her knowledge. The subscriber claims Silverlight had a live image from his/her webcam, and he/she could view it simply by right-clicking and then selecting on a WebCam/Mic tab.
It is true Silverlight 4 has webcam and microphone support. That may be a nice feature, but it would be creepy to find out that Silverlight actively captures images and sounds from personal web cams and microphones by default.
Hopefully, some solid precautions have been taken to keep the private audio/visuals inaccessible to others, but a resourceful hacker might love to peek in on a person's private web cam just to snoop around and see who watches Netflix movies in their underwear. Nothing online is 100% hacker-proof, so this issue could raise some privacy concerns.
Before anyone freaks out, please keep in mind this is just an accusation from one Netflix subscriber/Silverlight user, and this may just stem from a simple misunderstanding, oversight, or mistake; however, if it turns out to be true that Silverlight is automatically capturing webcam video and microphone audio, there is a concern that a serious breach of privacy has been made.
It must be noted that instructions at SilverlightShow indicate Silverlight 4 does have the capability to automatically detect webcams and microphones, but the same instructions also indicate users must grant Silverlight permission to access theses devices. As long as users are actually aware Silverlight is accessing their web cams and microphones and have a fair chance to allow or disallow access, everything is fine, and there is no cause for alarm.
Please check to see if Silverlight is accessing your webcam and microphone. If Silverlight is accessing your webcam and microphone without your consent, deactivate the access immediately and report the problem to Netflix and Microsoft. Please come back and share your findings here. Hopefully, this open web cam occurrence is just an isolated incident.