Online Tracking: Smartphone Users Beware of HTML5 Websites

HTML5 _Beware online tracking

After Google allowed us to track and monitor ourselves online, another privacy issue has been discovered. This time it is coming from loophole in HTML5 programming language of websites.

Most of us know that websites run on HTML, with HTML5 being the latest version. The version has a lot of advantages over earlier versions, but one of its advantages is turning out to be tracking and hacking tool.

HTML5 can detect smartphones’ battery information like percentage of battery level, discharge time, as well as charge up time. This functionality allows it to conserve battery by serving “low version” of website to users when it detects low battery level.

However, researchers have found out that some web developers have manipulate this battery information, using it to track web visitors’ IP addresses and other information. And consequently tracking browsing habit and history of visitors.

HTML5 _Beware online tracking

Trackers can eventually use the information gotten to sell ads to visitors and perhaps send malwares. Ad blockers are normally useful to block disturbing ads, but researchers said ad blockers are not enough to stop ads sent using this HTML5 loophole.

Researchers that discovered this loophole has reported to W3C (organization that designs HTML5 and other lower versions), and the world await response to fix this loophole which might be a permanent removal of the HTML5 battery detection feature.

Knowing A Website That Runs on HTML5

To know websites running HTML5: Right click on the page and click on View Page Source. This will load a page that shows all the code of the page. When you see <!doctype html> as the first code, then the website runs HTML5.

N.B = This step above only works on a PC browser.

Since virtually all website today run this latest HTML language, our fate of online safety is left in the hand of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).


Posted by Adedapo Olatunde

Geek. Webhead. Editor at Techrabytes. Minimalist. Environmentalist. Aspiring Martian. I'm on Facebook and Twitter

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