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Re: [user-context] What are the use cases for exposing screen reader or magnifier version info?

From: Dominic Mazzoni <dmazzoni@google.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2013 14:00:55 -0800
Message-ID: <CAFz-FYzx7Jz8MRaEUdUC-A2FX7tOzy+aq4TrHFFQt2ZE7ZZmzA@mail.gmail.com>
To: James Craig <jcraig@apple.com>
Cc: Janina Sajka <janina@rednote.net>, public-indie-ui@w3.org
On Mon, Feb 4, 2013 at 11:36 AM, James Craig <jcraig@apple.com> wrote:

> On Feb 4, 2013, at 11:21 AM, Dominic Mazzoni <dmazzoni@google.com> wrote:
> We could potentially ease privacy concerns by encouraging user agents to
> simulate this media type when debugging, precaching, downloading a page as
> an archive, or at other times when it wouldn't impact the user but would
> make it more difficult for sites to identify and discriminate against AT
> users.
> Interesting. Can you clarify your idea some more? Other than circumventing
> fingerprinting, what would be the benefit for mainstream user agents to
> simulate this media type? Why don't you think that this would impact the
> user at these times?

I don't anticipate there'd be any other benefit for user agents other than
to help protect users' privacy, but this could be part of a broader feature
in browsers to try to reduce the effectiveness of browser fingerprinting (
https://panopticlick.eff.org/browser-uniqueness.pdf). In particular, Chrome
already implements prerendering, even though the work it does is often
thrown away (https://developers.google.com/chrome/whitepapers/prerender),
so occasionally prerendering a page with spoofed configurations in order to
make fingerprinting more difficult would not have to impact users more than
prerendering already does.

This specific idea might not work, but it's worth considering that it might
be possible to give web authors more information about a user's
configuration without compromising privacy, and I think we should continue
the discussion about the pros and cons without assuming that the privacy
problem is insurmountable.

- Dominic
Received on Monday, 4 February 2013 22:01:25 UTC

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