The battery that runs and powers your smartphone or laptop computer may not be on the high list of things you need to keep secure. Sure, we think of anti-virus on our Operating System or perhaps even a software or hardware firewall but can a battery that powers your device really give web sites and even hackers the ability to track you online?
According to recent research HTML5 code allows for a web site to determine how much battery power a user has left on their smartphone or laptop, all without asking for permissions. Furthermore, the information obtained via HTML5 code can give a web site the ability to see the estimated time a battery will discharge as well as its full capacity. Why does this matter? Because with the currently power level, discharge, and capacity information a total of 14 million combinations are possible allowing for your device to be “fingerprinted” or tracked online.
The values for the battery information is updated every 30 seconds, so the HTML5 code would need to gather the information at least every 30 seconds and then perhaps place some other tracker on your browser, like a cookie to help with the tracking process.
What can consumers do right now? Not a whole lot unless the HTML5 standards are updated and the ability to pull down all information about ones battery is deprecated.