Re: Follow up issues from WebRTC / PING TPAC meeting

>>> Regarding values returned by enumerateDevices (#612)
>>> ---
> This is true if device-info permission is not granted to the page.
> If device-info permission is granted (after user granted access to the camera for instance), enumerateDevices will provide the full list of devices, with labels and ids.

Do I understand right that if I give access to a single device, enumerateDevices will return information about all devices?  This was not my understanding from the TPAC conversation, and more sig, it seems unnecessarily privacy harming.

Could enumerateDevices just return only the union of
1) always return an object that does not include any device ids or labels, one entry describing every possible device type
2) information about any device the user has given permission too

>>> Regarding uniqueness of device IDs (#607)
>>> --
>>> For new hardware types (e.g. external speakers): device IDs MUST NOT be globally unique, but opaque-identifying integers (or some other non-identifying, non-unique handle).
> I think the idea is that for browsers exposing speakers through enumerateDevices, device IDs will be double keyed.
> There is discussion to find an alternative to that approach, hopefully I’ll have a full proposal soon.

My understanding (and it seems, not only my) from the TPAC conversation was that any new spec work would, at a minimum, not use UUID style device Ids, regardless of double keying, etc.  I don’t know if thats compatible with what you just said above. Can you clarify?

Its my error / mistake to give "external speakers” as an example in the above.

>>> Regarding "network type" identifiers in returned stats (#374)
>>> ---
>>> The standard will be updated to to remove this value from the returned dictionary of stats returned (e.g. no type key, and no "wifi", "ethernet", "vpn" value).
> The WebRTC WG plans to gather feedback from WebRTC stats users.

I don’t have any objection to asking more folks for feedback, but if the value privacy violating (and it sure seems to be), I don’t think its appropriate to connect the WG’s decision on the survey response.  E.g. "we’re only going to leave the non-web-compat-relevant privacy-harming value in the spec if its popular" isn’t a good way forward ;)

>> Re double-keying device ids
>> ---
> The issue is not really that users will be reprompted.
> Websites will not be able to setup the call configuration as done the last time if last call happened in a different top level origin.

Sorry, I don’t follow this.  Once the site’s not able to re-set the call up (because the relevant stored value is being written to by two diff site instances), the most recent one will say “I can’t seem to find the device I expect to” and reprompt the user (as if the user had disconnected a web cam or whatever).  Can you point to popular code in the wild that would break / not reprompt? 

> This creates a compat risk for WebRTC SDK vendors without getting much privacy benefits if other storages are not double keyed.

We all agree that double keying is better than not double keying I think at this point.  The goal is to also protect the privacy of folks on non-double-keyed browsers.

> If double keying for other storage is not shipped in some browsers, cross-site tracking will continue whatever we do about device IDs.
> Note also that the WG decided that device IDs will not be accessible until capture permission is granted.
> This can be shipped much sooner and will make actual usage of device IDs for tracking purposes much harder.

The web platform has so many privacy harming bugs in it that its going to take a long time to undo all the harm thats been caused.  The relevant question isn’t “will this particular fix stop tracking”, its “does it make things less-bad in a way that doesn’t break too many reasonable use cases”.  (Re break, still trying to understand how realistic this is from the above).

But point taken about IDs not being available until permission is granted.  Thats better than the status quo (yeah!), but still more privacy-harming that is necessary (boo!)

>> 4) the current spec text of “device ids should be reset when storage is reset” does not address the privacy concern, especially as some browsers move to dynamic policies for handling JS set storage (e.g. there is no single global “storage clear” event to decide when to reset device Ids against, but lots of small micro, per value decisions)
> I am not sure to follow, could you elaborate?

This is covered in the issue, but the short version is

1) some privacy-preserving browsers are moving away from the idea of a "single storage epoch” (I.e. “Im clearing all storage now”) to a large number of overlapping, per value “storage epoch”.  E.x. Safari and Brave clear all JS set cookies 7 days after being set, ITP2.3 does the same thing for all JS set storage, etc etc etc.  These frequent small-events is an intentional alternative to rare “clear everything” interventions like “clear all cookies”.

2) It's not clear how the standard should be read in this light.  There is no single “storage is cleared” event to key off.  You either harm the goals of these privacy preserving efforts (since the device id can be preserved / carried over between these mini epochs, see below), or wind up with all sorts of weird web compat issues (if you reset deviceIds anytime any storage value was deleted, you’d have deviceIds being reset on all sorts of odd, unpredictable schedules)

// Day 0
window.localStorage.deviceId = deviceId
// Day 1
window.localStorage.deviceIdCopy = window.localStorage.deviceId
// Day 7 
window.localStorage.deviceId is cleared
// Day 7 pt 2
if (!window.localStorage.deviceId) window.localStorage.deviceId = window.localStorage.deviceIdCopy
// Day 8
window.localStorage.deviceIdCopy is cleared

TLDR its not a solution to have a long-lasting privacy harming value, but key it off storage lifetime.

> I am unclear whether the PING WG would like us to continue digging in this approach given the plan is to mandate double keying.
> Can you clarify this?

Order of preference (attempting to summarize PING conversations)

1. Use non-uuid device handles AND double key on all platforms
2. Use non-uuid device handles
3. Double key UUIDs on all platforms
4. Double key on some platforms (e.g. platforms that already double key)

1 would be great and show the most commitment to privacy. 2 would be great, 3 would be acceptable if non-uuid’s was unworkable.  4 is not a solution.

> As of why I am not sure how the proposal works, let’s take an example.
> Say we start with two cameras (back and front) that we give 1 and 2 as device IDs. Everything is fine.
> Let’s say now that a new camera is being plugged in.
> We give it device ID 3.
> Let’s say now that another new camera is being plugged in.
> We give it device ID 4.
> Now, we want persistency so that web pages can say 'I want device 3 at next visit’.
> This should be working except if user clears website data like cookies for that particular website.
> But we can no longer clear device IDs for this particular website since this will affect all websites.
> Also, if next time, we only have device IDs 1, 2 and 4, this information will be available to all origins that have device info permission.
> This would leak some interesting cross-site tracking information.
> We could then decide to use 1, 2 and 3 instead but then the web site is unable to select persistently device 4.

Sorry im having real trouble following the above, or at least the new privacy harms introduced.  The only change suggested here is that browsers do something equivalent to keeping an internal map of consecutive ints to “uuids", and expose the ints to the site instead.  This is orthogonal to double keying (it makes both the double keying option better AND it makes the non-double-keying option better).  This seems to be most relevant if the WG is dead set against requiring double-keying on _all_ platforms.  

In other words, there is no scenario where moving from UUIDs -> sequential ints reveals _more_ information, or would (its self) effect the life time of any value. 

> AIUI, the double-keyed proposal solve this issue and is easier to implement by browser engines.

I’m totally baffled; what is the WG proposing to do to solve the current privacy harm on platforms that don’t double key all storage?  

> FWIW, I like fixed device IDs and am advocating for using some for output speakers.
> This should in particular work great for devices that are always there for a given device (say loudspeaker/earpiece).

If you feel im misunderstanding you, or we’re talking past each other, maybe a call would be good.  I’d be happy to join you next time you have a WG call if that’d be helpful.

Even if we’re disagreeing, thank you for taking the time to continue discussing this :)


Received on Monday, 30 September 2019 22:20:02 UTC