A team of security researchers has published a paper titled ‘The Leaking Battery’ which discusses the information being made public about us by the device’s battery. Researchers have told that this is not happening due to any malware, but behind it is the hand of HTML5, the technology used for the World Wide Web.
HTML5’s Battery API lets a website know how much battery is left on a visitor’s device. Actually, the purpose of this feature is to give information about the visitor’s device to the web publisher. For example, if a device does not have much battery left, then in such a situation the web publisher can offer a less energy consuming version of its website to the visitor.
But during this time, how much battery life is left in the device, how long it will take to discharge completely and information like the current charge level are shared due to this feature. The more websites we browse, the more information the website gets. In such a situation, it becomes possible to collect all this information about us in one place and the risk of our identity becoming public also increases.
“Many websites contain a third-party script that can link to each user’s visit within a limited time frame. This is made possible by the information the web script receives about the battery,” the study wrote.
It further states, “The readings on each site will be the same because the update intervals are also the same. In this way the details of all your visits are stored with the third party script. Apart from this, even if you exit these sites visit, but later visit another site where the same third-party script is present. It is possible that these readings can be used to link the current visit to the previous one.”
Researchers have reported that as of June 2015, support for the Battery Status API was available on web-browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, and Opera. Researchers say that users can use Tor, a browser based on Firefox, for more privacy and security.
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