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Smartphone Batteries Can Now Be Tracked Through HTML5

August 6, 2015 - Written By Dennis Patrick

We hope you’re not strict on privacy as a new finding shows that even your smartphone battery could be used to track you. Thanks to a group of researchers, we’re now learning about HTML5 and what it could potentially do when it connects to your battery. According to these researchers, your battery could almost act like a GPS in a small scale sense and only for about 30 seconds but still, this information comes alarmingly as there are no permissions being asked when a website happens to tap into your battery. Find out how your smartphone and laptop battery could be used to track you on the internet.

First of all this information comes from The Guardian as they reported a new finding through a feature within HTML5. A group of researchers found that with HTML5, websites could tap into your battery status API to determine a few elements such as how long ago a user charged their smartphone and how much battery life may be left within the battery at that given time. With this information in mind, it’s possible to track and label a unique ID out of about 14 million combinations but only for about 30 seconds as the values will in fact change.

Now I’m sure you’re already concerned as to why HTML5 websites and applications would be tapping into your smartphone to gather information about your particular device’s battery. Through HTML5, a website can determine if your smartphone or laptop is low in the battery thus it can make arrangements with their website and application to avoid draining more battery.  Additionally, HTML5 doesn’t have any indicator that will be looking into your battery so consumers are not necessarily allowing website or applications permission to do so.

This shouldn’t be a massive deal in privacy as no personal information is ever taken. No details with your name or location are received but instead details on battery life. Furthermore, the information and personal ID that could be tracked when a website or application looks into your battery will not even last a full minute. Nevertheless, if you’re particular about privacy, this could still be a bit concerning.