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Re: [vibration] privacy consideration PING comments

From: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Feb 2016 13:58:31 -0800
Cc: Joseph Lorenzo Hall <joe@cdt.org>, Chaals McCathie Nevile <chaals@yandex-team.ru>, Frederick Hirsch <w3c@fjhirsch.com>, W3C Device APIs WG <public-device-apis@w3.org>, "public-privacy (W3C mailing list)" <public-privacy@w3.org>
Message-id: <DC112FB5-1A8C-48F0-BE81-3D8FF87CC2C7@apple.com>
To: "Lukasz Olejnik (W3C)" <lukasz.w3c@gmail.com>

> On Feb 29, 2016, at 13:53 , Lukasz Olejnik (W3C) <lukasz.w3c@gmail.com> wrote:
> 2016-02-29 22:47 GMT+01:00 Joseph Lorenzo Hall <joe@cdt.org>:
> On Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 2:37 PM, David Singer <singer@apple.com> wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >> So, is this API a fingerprint risk, or a beacon risk?
> >>
> >> It provides information
> >
> > that’s my puzzle.  it provides almost no information at all.  what information does it provide?
> >
> > it can transmit information (e.g. the vibrate pattern), it can identify a device ‘in a crowd’, and so on, but…
> I think this is semantic confusion. Lukasz here seems to be saying
> through the API a developer provides vibration patterns to the device
> which vibrates according to those patterns. So these are beacon
> facilitating risks (a cookie value could be marshaled into a set of
> vibration patterns and then picked up acoustically by another device
> to register the first device was in acoustic proximity)
> Actually, what I mean israther -  probing accelerometer/gyroscope/etc sensors, which are known to differ from each others. This is basically an extraction of an identifier. Quintessential fingerprinting.

"reading the output of
accelerometer - can allow fingerprinting by imperfections in the
accelerometer sensors.”

That’s fingerprinting the accelerometers.  I suppose it’s theoretically possible that the vibration actuators — or the combination of a specific actuator and a specific accelerometer set — can be unique, i.e. yield a fingerprint, but I am a little doubtful.

I just want to be careful we don’t cause confusion by labelling what is essentially an output-only API as something that can yield information…

> --
> Joseph Lorenzo Hall
> Chief Technologist, Center for Democracy & Technology [https://www.cdt.org]
> e: joe@cdt.org, p: 202.407.8825, pgp: https://josephhall.org/gpg-key
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David Singer
Manager, Software Standards, Apple Inc.
Received on Monday, 29 February 2016 21:59:03 UTC

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