W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-gpu@w3.org > August 2019

Re: Some Feature requests.

From: Markus Schütz <mschuetz@potree.org>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2019 07:38:33 +0200
To: public-gpu@w3.org
Message-ID: <94988e9e-3f2c-89e0-431f-f8c3225c54ed@potree.org>

I admit I don't know too much about fingerprinting but I'd like to see 
it prevented without taking away too much performance potential from the 

Something that I was thinking of, wouldn't it be possible to tie any 
functionality with the potential to fingerprint to an opaque canvas that 
covers at least 66% of the page, with those 66% being actually visible? 
And that canvas can be resized but not be resized to anything smaller 
than that 66% for, let's say, 5 seconds. This would make it way too 
obnoxious for sites that want to exploit WebGPU for fingerprinting 
without doing anything useful with it.

On 07/08/2019 23:30, James Darpinian wrote:
> Kevin makes an interesting point that I hadn't considered. Explicitly 
> providing GPU info by default can give the browser and user more control.
> If we don't provide GPU info, sites will be forced to implement GPU 
> fingerprinting methods that are infeasible for us to block. Such 
> methods will be widespread and included in popular libraries. If we do 
> provide GPU info by default, sites will likely rely on it instead of 
> implementing unblockable GPU fingerprinting. Then we will have the 
> option to modify the GPU info we provide in some situations, such as a 
> private browsing mode. In practice, the privacy of private browsing 
> mode could be higher in the latter scenario than the former.
> On Wed, Aug 7, 2019 at 1:30 PM Kevin Rogovin 
> <kevinrogovin@invisionapp.com <mailto:kevinrogovin@invisionapp.com>> 
> wrote:
>     Hi,
>     I am sorry, this is very counter-productive to the success of
>     WebGPU whose goal is to close the performance gap for hardware
>     accelerated graphics between native and web.
>     The previous posts prove that that it is quite possible and
>     feasible to identify (roughly) the GPU at the cost of slower
>     start-up performance and batter life on mobile. GPU-intensive apps
>     will NEED to do this (because the performance profile for
>     different GPU's is literally all over the map across architectures
>     for various specific loads), thus it will be done. Rather than
>     making the developer's life more difficult along with making the
>     user's experience worse, there is a pretty clear way forward:
>     provide the GPU info directly. If hiding this is important to a
>     user, just as many browsers allow for changing the browser ID,
>     perhaps a browser can also provide an option to NOT provide the
>     GPU (i.e. a WebGPU implementation would report "Generic GPU").
>     This would then give customers the control of identifying the
>     hardware, and for those users which take that option who use a
>     highly GPU intensive app, the downside that it the app will run
>     perf-test-probing along with other probing on the device. In all
>     honesty, compared to all the other shenanigans going on with
>     browser tracking, this is by far the smallest potato.
>     If we were in a world where the GPU architectures were quite
>     similar, this would not be needed, but that is not the world we
>     live in (in all honestly thankfully too, since variety in hardware
>     is a good thing in my eyes).
>     My 2 cents.
>      -Kevin
>     On Wed, Aug 7, 2019 at 11:04 PM Dean Jackson <dino@apple.com
>     <mailto:dino@apple.com>> wrote:
>         > On 7 Aug 2019, at 14:05, Doug Moen <doug@moens.org
>         <mailto:doug@moens.org>> wrote:
>         >
>         >
>         >
>         > On Tue, Aug 6, 2019, at 10:35 PM, Myles C. Maxfield wrote:
>         >> We’ve heard this defeatist argument before and entirely
>         disagree with it.
>         >
>         > My point is that security designs by non-experts have a poor
>         track record.
>         > I think fingerprinting security for WebGPU should be
>         designed by a web browser fingerprinting security expert
>         We agree. This *is* advice from our Web Browser fingerprinting
>         security experts.
>         It's not a secret that there are low-level techniques to
>         identify hardware, and thus users. Their existence does not
>         mean it is acceptable to provide high-level ways to identify
>         hardware/users.
>         To give an analogy (that will probably cause more distraction
>         than help, but whatever).... just because someone can throw a
>         brick through your window doesn't mean you should leave your
>         front door unlocked. Maybe some day you'll get brick-proof
>         windows.
>         Dean
>         > , and I also think that you are trying to fix the problem at
>         the wrong level of abstraction. The security should be
>         provided at a level above the WebGPU API.
Received on Thursday, 8 August 2019 06:11:56 UTC

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