W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-geolocation@w3.org > May 2009

Re: Additional security and privacy considerations?

From: Doug Turner <doug.turner@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 21 May 2009 15:02:56 -0700
Cc: Alissa Cooper <acooper@cdt.org>, Erik Wilde <dret@berkeley.edu>, public-geolocation@w3.org, Rigo Wenning <rigo@w3.org>
Message-Id: <007067E0-397D-407F-AF17-04A80C15AFC0@gmail.com>
To: Doug Turner <doug.turner@gmail.com>
got some feedback on this.  this isn't how it works today, but I think  
it is the way it should work in the future. Even more so, I have been  
considering restricting device apis (like geolocation) to top level  
documents only and prevent iframes from accessing this APIs.  I did  
get some push back in Dec when I suggested this at our w3c devices  
workshop (are the notes anywhere for this? thomas?).  This will break  
many of the sites like igoogle and others that embed content from  
remote origins.  However such sites, could use something like  
PostMessage to explicitly send data.

Is this an overkill? Thoughts?

Doug


On May 20, 2009, at 2:45 PM, Doug Turner wrote:

> I am not sure if there is any precedent for this.
>
> fwiw,  in your example, pages containing an iframe will be of a  
> different document origin, UAs will be prompting separately.  In  
> other words, if "a" contains the geolocation request, and sites x,  
> y, and z include "a" as a iframe, the user is going to see 3 UI  
> prompts.
>
> Doug
>
> On May 20, 2009, at 7:09 AM, Alissa Cooper wrote:
>
>> Is there precedent in other specs for restricting access to the  
>> parent document? Although it may not become a mainstream practice,  
>> I have a pretty good feeling that once this API gets out there some  
>> service provider or ad network will start using iframes to track a  
>> user's location across different sites based on a single consent.  
>> If there isn't a strong argument for allowing access from iframes,  
>> I think it makes sense to restrict geolocation to parents.
>>
>> Alissa
>>
>> On May 18, 2009, at 7:21 PM, Doug Turner wrote:
>>
>>> erik,
>>>
>>> I am not sure I follow the argument.  so, say urchin.js starts  
>>> requesting geolocation.  That would mean that _EVERY_ site that  
>>> you visit which uses this script (cnn.com, google,com, espn.com,  
>>> etc) would prompt the user for geolocation.  We are basing asking  
>>> for permission on the document's origin -- not some script that it  
>>> loads.
>>>
>>> I did suggest before that we may want to consider restricting  
>>> geolocation to parent documents (eg. not allow geolocation access  
>>> from iframes) as a way to mitigate xss and other attacks.  Is that  
>>> what you are thinking about here?
>>>
>>> Thanks,
>>> Doug
>>>
>>> On May 18, 2009, at 4:08 PM, Erik Wilde wrote:
>>>
>>>> hello.
>>>>
>>>> Rigo Wenning wrote:
>>>>> All this can be derived from the requirement to have the user's  
>>>>> consent when acquiring location data as required by two EU  
>>>>> Directives and subsequent transposed national law. As there is  
>>>>> always new data sent over, the legal requirements are not met  
>>>>> with a one time permission for data disclosure for an  
>>>>> unforeseeable future.
>>>>
>>>> at the risk of repeating myself, i want to point out to something  
>>>> i sent  to the list a while ago. 3rd party trackers are  
>>>> increasingly moving from cookies to javascript. one reason is  
>>>> that 3rd party cookies now can (and sometimes are) blocked by  
>>>> browsers, and browsers have configuration options for that. the  
>>>> other reason is that the information available through scripting  
>>>> is much richer than cookie information. imagine for a second that  
>>>> urchin.js, probably the most widely executed javascript on the  
>>>> web (the code feeding google analytics) starts requesting  
>>>> location information. given the fact how pervasive 3rd party  
>>>> tracking is these days [1], this would mean that iphone users (or  
>>>> any other GPS- or skyhook-enabled phones) would leave an almost  
>>>> perfect location trail from their phones.
>>>>
>>>> i think that this is in very different domain than donating my IP  
>>>> address or screen size or browser type to 3rd party trackers. and  
>>>> while i might want to use location features on web sites as soon  
>>>> as they start implementing them, i might not be willing to  
>>>> disclose my location to 3rd parties affiliated with those sites  
>>>> (and many of the popular web sites have an amazing number of  
>>>> affiliated 3rd parties). it seems to me that in case of location,  
>>>> this really is something that needs to be handled carefully, and  
>>>> i am wondering whether the browser of the future will have more  
>>>> "3rd party information disclosure" controls that just "3rd party  
>>>> cookies".
>>>>
>>>> kind regards,
>>>>
>>>> erik wilde   tel:+1-510-6432253 - fax:+1-510-6425814
>>>>    dret@berkeley.edu  -  http://dret.net/netdret
>>>>    UC Berkeley - School of Information (ISchool)
>>>>
>>>> [1] http://www2009.org/proceedings/pdf/p541.pdf
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
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>
Received on Thursday, 21 May 2009 22:03:37 UTC

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