W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-web-mobile@w3.org > February 2014

Re: Firefox OS Permissions

From: Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2014 14:05:40 +0000
To: Terence Eden <Terence.Eden@telefonica.com>
Cc: David Rogers <david.rogers@copperhorse.co.uk>, Paul Theriault <ptheriault@mozilla.com>, Natasha Rooney <nrooney@gsma.com>, W3C Webmob Public <public-web-mobile@w3.org>
Message-ID: <0ACFD509ECF74A00AEDE74B5F7CA2EC4@marcosc.com>

On Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 9:52 AM, Terence Eden wrote:

> > I still find it incredible after all this time that we're resorting to user prompts in new platforms.
> > > Can you point us to some alternatives? Maybe let us know what you think are good solutions in this space that you've seen in practice?
> I quite like the way Firefox works when installing XPIs. "This thing is about to happen. The OK button is disabled for 5...4...3..."

I think most people just remember the weird button with a countdown, not what they are actually agreeing to. Try this for yourself. I know I certainly just watch the counter while thinking "argh! hurry the hell up so I can do what I need to do!" and don't actually read what the app is going to access... and I should know better! :)  
> So, a site trying to access contacts could induce the browsers into saying
> "Example.com (http://Example.com) will access your contacts in 5...4..." with a prominent [CANCEL] button.

Again, same as above. Some serious UX research is needed in this area. 
> Alternatively, if you look at Android, an icon appears in the system try when the GPS is accessed. 

This is better, IMO. iOS pioneered this. Again, see my slightly out of date paper on Geolocation [1]. 
> Although it doesn't say *what* is accessing it.

iOS provides a complete list of apps that make use of location services (including installed web apps). They are under Settings > Privacy > Location Service. It also provides system level and per-application level control. It's quite nice, once you find it... one just needs to dig a bit.  
> A toolbar (or similar) at the top or bottom of the viewport could have icons / text indicating that example.com (http://example.com) has access to microphone. With options to switch on and off.

Like I said above, it would be great to prototype some different things and put them in front of users. It would certainly be a worth while endeavor for this group - though we would need to find resources (money, designers, testing lab, etc.) to do this so to be taken seriously by the community.  
[1] http://marcosc.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/caceres_marcos_geopriv.pdf
Received on Tuesday, 25 February 2014 14:06:15 UTC

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