Version 94 of Google Chrome has already been released and among its novelties we find some new APIs. Previously we talked about those that addressed the graphic aspects, however, there is another that has generated controversy. It is the so-called Inactivity Detection API that Apple and Firefox forcefully reject in communications issued by each company.
The arguments against this API that Google puts in the hands of developers is that it leaves users exposed to significant security risks.
Why are you rejecting the Inactivity Detection API?
In Chrome 94, Google has put in the hands of developers possibilities such as directly taking advantage of the graphic processing of the computers. This looks great unlike what the Idle Detection API can do that Firefox and Apple reject. When talking about detecting inactivity, it refers to the possibility that sites will have to know if a user has interacted with the system.
The sensitivity of this API is that from the information on inactivity, it is possible to reach other data such as patterns of habits and use that could be used by the sites. This is precisely what Mozilla alleges in its statement, rejecting the implementation of this API. It also indicates that this mechanism will not be implemented in your browser.
The same thing said Apple, indicating that Safari will not join this surveillance system either. According to its statement, the use cases raised for the API in question are not convincing enough to start implementing them.
While the latest version of the Inactivity Detection API requires user approval for sites to monitor, the rejection has been clear. There are many lessons we have learned over time about privacy and it is clear that the implementation of the API generates criticism. We will have to wait for a response from Google about the continuity or modification of this mechanism.