Apple rejects 16 new Web APIs over privacy concerns
Apple has decided to skip functionalities such as NFC or Bluetooth support in the browser over privacy reasons.
Apple has declined to add support for as many as 16 new Web APIs in Safari browser. The company said these Web APIs could put users' privacy at risk.
Some of Web APIs that were refused by Apple are Web Bluetooth, Web MIDI API, Magnetometer API, Web NFC API, Device Memory API and Battery Status API among others, reports Zdnet. According to Apple, the 16 Web APIs could allow cybercriminals as well as online advertisers and data analytics firms to track users through fingerprinting techniques.
Apple, however, said that it could allow these Web APIs in Safari if these can "reduce fingerprintability down the road.” The ZDNet report adds that Web APIs have been on Safari for years. For the existing ones, Apple has been working to reduce the potential of fingerprinting.
Apple will not add functionality such as NFC or Bluetooth support in the browser for privacy reasons. Coincidentally this prevents web apps from matching functionality of mobile apps.— Dare Obasanjo (@Carnage4Life) June 28, 2020
Claiming privacy is the strategy credit that keeps on giving for Applehttps://t.co/8XU7JzvLKL
Some of the measures Apple has taken so far include removing support for custom fonts, Do not Track tag, plug-ins on macOS, and fingerprinting of cameras and microphones.
The report comes shortly after Apple announced a wide range of privacy features for Safari. Scheduled to be part of the upcoming iOS 14 update (on iPhones), Safari will feature a Privacy Report. This new dashboard will show how many cross-site trackers have been blocked.
The upcoming Safari update will also feature a secure password monitoring tool that is aimed at helping users to get a new tool to help users detect saved password that may have been part of a data breach. Apple has also integrated built-in translation for entire webpages on Safari.