Internet privacy and security has always been be huge concern. A new paper published by a team of security researchers from France and Belgium has revealed that our phone batteries are not as harmless as they seem.
The culprit is not the phone battery itself, but rather the code in the HTML5 specification which allows sites to tell exactly how much battery power a user has left on their smart phone or laptop. Sites can detect a machine’s battery life without asking a user for permission, because ‘the information disclosed has minimal impact on privacy or fingerprinting’.
According to the paper, “The capacity of the battery, as well as its level, expose a fingerprintable surface that can be used to track web users in short time intervals. Our analysis shows that the risk is much higher for old or used batteries with reduced capacities, as the battery capacity may potentially serve as a tracking identifier.”
It is worth noting that using private browser windows or browsing “incognito” does not make you any less vulnerable.
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You can also read the paper here: The leaking battery (PDF)