Fri. Jul 10th, 2020

Apple refused to add 16 Web APIs for Safari to obtain user information

2 min read

Apple said this week that they will not add these 16 new Web APIs that can access user privacy data to the Safari browser. Although Apple does greatly enhance the protection of user privacy data, because of the lack of these new Web APIs in Safari, the popular PWA that will become more and more popular on Apple devices in recent years, is difficult to use.

In the name of protecting privacy, Apple refused to add 16 Web APIs for Safari to obtain user information. The following is a list of 16 Web APIs that Apple announced that the Safari browser will not support:

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  • Web Bluetooth – Allows websites to connect to nearby Bluetooth LE devices.
  • Web MIDI API – Allows websites to enumerate, manipulate and access MIDI devices.
  • Magnetometer API – Allows websites to access data about the local magnetic field around a user, as detected by the device’s primary magnetometer sensor.
  • Web NFC API – Allows websites to communicate with NFC tags through a device’s NFC reader.
  • Device Memory API – Allows websites to receive the approximate amount of device memory in gigabytes.
  • Network Information API – Provides information about the connection a device is using to communicate with the network and provides a means for scripts to be notified if the connection type changes
  • Battery Status API – Allows websites to receive information about the battery status of the hosting device.
  • Web Bluetooth Scanning – Allows websites to scan for nearby Bluetooth LE devices.
  • Ambient Light Sensor – Lets websites get the current light level or illuminance of the ambient light around the hosting device via the device’s native sensors.
  • HDCP Policy Check extension for EME – Allows websites to check for HDCP policies, used in media streaming/playback.
  • Proximity Sensor – Allows websites to retrieve data about the distance between a device and an object, as measured by a proximity sensor.
  • WebHID – Allows websites to retrieve information about locally connected Human Interface Device (HID) devices.
  • Serial API – Allows websites to write and read data from serial interfaces, used by devices such as microcontrollers, 3D printers, and othes.
  • Web USB – Lets websites communicate with devices via USB (Universal Serial Bus).
  • Geolocation Sensor (background geolocation) – A more modern version of the older Geolocation API that lets websites access geolocation data.
  • User Idle Detection – Lets website know when a user is idle.

Apple claims that these APIs they have banned have been widely used by online advertisers and data analysis companies to track users and obtain user information. Therefore, they have disabled these APIs due to privacy concerns.

Via: ZDNet