As part of HTML5, it is possible for sites to see the life remaining in the battery you are using to browse the internet. This feature exists so that it is possible to reduce the amount of data being sent and received by your device in order to preserve battery life. W3C have said that in their specification that the API “has minimal impact on privacy or fingerprinting” and because of this they allow sites to request the information without requiring permission to do so. However a paper published in the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR) explains how this API can be used to track users across the internet even when they are using tools such as a VPN.
After Netflix updated their catalogue yesterday to include The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, the first thing I did this morning was put it on and watch in sheer admiration. Aaron Swartz was an amazing person and a true pioneer of today’s internet.
The Guerilla Open Access Manifesto is something he and his fellow colleges wrote and is something I strongly believe in. It’s worth a read.