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[battery] Battery API and fingerprinting

From: Frederick Hirsch <w3c@fjhirsch.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Jul 2015 17:09:58 -0400
Message-Id: <E426189D-CCAF-4149-9719-DCFE076382CE@fjhirsch.com>
To: W3C Device APIs WG <public-device-apis@w3.org>
Concrete Battery API suggestions from "A privacy analysis of the HTML5 Battery Status API"

* "we believe the Battery Status API could mention the risk of exposing high precision readouts in the ‚ÄúSecurity and privacy considerations‚ÄĚ section of the standard."

* "We believe, as a minimum, users should be able to choose to be asked for battery access by Web scripts. As an alternative, browsers can enforce the user permission requirement in their private browsing modes."

* information on the API use could be made available to the user to aid transparency

This paper highlights (yet again) how detailed and accurate information can be used to fingerprint

regards, Frederick

Frederick Hirsch
Chair, W3C Device APIs WG (DAP)


> Begin forwarded message:
> From: Dominique Hazael-Massieux <dom@w3.org>
> Subject: Baterry API and fingerprinting
> Date: July 8, 2015 at 2:09:59 PM EDT
> To: public-privacy@w3.org
> Resent-From: public-privacy@w3.org
> Hi,
> An interesting paper on how a seemingly innocuous API (battery level reading) ends up providing exploitable fingerprinting surface:
>  A privacy analysis of the HTML5 Battery Status API
>  http://eprint.iacr.org/2015/616.pdf
> Some of the risks highlighted are specific to an implementation (providing arguably too detailed information), some are probably more generic to any API that bridges with hardware. It might be interesting to look if the self-review questionnaire would have helped mitigating these risks at the spec level.
> Dom
Received on Wednesday, 8 July 2015 21:10:27 UTC

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