A new report says websites can monitor the battery life on your table and smartphone, an action that leaves a trail and allows business and cybercriminals to track you, Panda Security reported.
This is all due to HTML5, a computer language in which webpages are written. It contains a function that is supposed to adapt websites to battery usage. According to Panda Security, pages written in HTML5 can actually detect how much juice is in your battery and adjust the webpage accordingly. For example, a simpler version of the page can be loaded if your battery is low, extending its life.
The battery data is collected every 30 seconds and leaves a digital trail, a group of French and Belgian researchers discovered. It impacts Chrome, Opera and Firefox browsers.
Researchers found that after several visits, “you can find the maximum capacity of the battery and eventually identify the user each time you visit a particular website, creating a kind of digital trail.”
To make matters worse, there is no way users can stop it because no permission is required to gather the information. If you visit a website, it automatically collects the information.
“It also doesn’t make much difference if you surf incognito,” Panda Security reported. “In fact, neither the firewall of a computer or using a VPN are enough to escape this monitoring by HTML5. As if that were not enough, everything happens without the user being aware, since the website does not have to ask permission to gather all this information.”
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