New laptop has one. It's buried in the bezel, it only can see out when the lid is raised. All it can see is my smiling face when I am using the machine. There is an app to take a selfie for use as account photo. I have much better selfies I took with a real camera on a tripod. If there is an app to do video conferencing with it I haven't found it. I cannot image using it to take pictures the way you do with an Ipad or a real camera.
I suppose it's there 'cause it's so cheap as makes no matter. A couple of bucks for a chip, the lens is molded into the bezel so that's basically free.
There is a LED that comes on when the selfie app is running the camera. I wonder if the LED is hardwired or software controlled. Could an embarrassment app take a pix of me in my underwear and keep it secret by not turning on the LED? Not that I work my computer in my underwear very often; it's too cold around here for that.
Anyhow, to satisfy my paranoia, I placed a bit of masking tape over the lens. Just in case NSA or KGB wants pix of my kitchen table.