W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-svg@w3.org > January 2002

Protecting SVG data in browser clients

From: Craig Parker <cparker@esriscot.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2002 12:51:16 -0000
Message-ID: <E1F74A1B54F0D411BCF0000102B92ECD218B5D@TORRIDON>
To: www-svg@w3.org
Hi all - 

An ongoing issue with commercial SVG implementations is the lack of
protection afforded to SVG data on the client.  This is a particular problem
for GIS/CAD applications where the data may be commercially valuable or
restrictively licenced  (I'm thinking in particular of SVG generated
server-side from spatial databases and then downloaded to browser-based
clients).

Simply relying on copyright law is not enough in these situations and it is
necessary to have some form of copy-protection or encryption on the client,
if only to provide reassurance to customers and data suppliers that their
data is not wide-open to anyone with a web browser.

Adobe's FAQ (http://www.adobe.com/svg/indepth/faq.html#lock) and this page:
http://www.siliconpublishing.org/svgfaq/Encryption.asp talk about the
potential of Digital Rights Management for SVG protection.  This seems to be
some way off however, and introduces another layer of technology to be
purchased and managed.

XML-Encryption has been mentioned as another possible (future) solution
(http://www.w3.org/Encryption/); however this is also unlikely to be
available as a real fix anytime soon (?).  Even looking beyond the time
taken for the establishment of a standard by the W3C, this will require
support from vendors of SVG viewers/browsers before it can be practically
useful.

http://www.mrf.com/Products/SVGWeb.htm suggests reducing the resolution of
GIS data to limit its value to unauthorised users - this seems to rather
defeat the purpose of using SVG.  Their idea of programming an SVG server to
detect repeated requests for contingent map tiles is more interesting.

Can the list point me at any other techniques for SVG protection/encryption
(available either now or as possible solutions for future implementations)?
Even an option to turn off "Save SVG As..." would be a step in the right
direction...

Thanks,
Craig
Received on Monday, 14 January 2002 07:48:01 GMT

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