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Get Installed Related Apps #436

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rayankans opened this issue Oct 29, 2019 · 2 comments

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@rayankans
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@rayankans rayankans commented Oct 29, 2019

Hello TAG!

I'm requesting a TAG review of:

Further details:

We recommend the explainer to be in Markdown. On top of the usual information expected in the explainer, it is strongly recommended to add:

  • Links to major pieces of multi-stakeholder review or discussion of this specification:
  • Links to major unresolved issues or opposition with this specification:

You should also know that...

[please tell us anything you think is relevant to this review]

We'd prefer the TAG provide feedback as (please select one):

  • open issues in our GitHub repo for each point of feedback
  • open a single issue in our GitHub repo for the entire review
  • leave review feedback as a comment in this issue and @-notify [github usernames]

Please preview the issue and check that the links work before submitting. In particular, if anything links to a URL which requires authentication (e.g. Google document), please make sure anyone with the link can access the document.

¹ For background, see our explanation of how to write a good explainer.

@kenchris kenchris self-assigned this Nov 5, 2019
@lknik lknik added the Topic: privacy label Nov 5, 2019
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@lknik lknik commented Nov 5, 2019

Hi

One question about

The user agent MUST NOT return installed applications when running in a privacy preserving mode, for example Incognito in Chrome or Private Browsing in Firefox.

What if, say, a very popular app has a pre-populated manifest file specifying avery popular website? We can also assume that the app with manifest is shipped by default, let's say in a very popular operating system.

It seems that this Very Popular app would be able to see that the user is browsing in private browsing mode because the website would expect navigator.getInstalledRelatedApps() return nothing when in private browsing mode (but it would know that this particular OS/browser in fact most likely has the app with a pre-populated).

Case in point could be Apple Maps or Google Maps or other X Y.

@lknik lknik self-assigned this Nov 5, 2019
@torgo torgo added the Venue: WICG label Nov 5, 2019
@torgo torgo self-assigned this Nov 5, 2019
@torgo torgo added this to the 2019-11-19-telecon milestone Nov 5, 2019
@hadleybeeman hadleybeeman self-assigned this Nov 5, 2019
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@rayankans rayankans commented Nov 6, 2019

Hello,

That's a very interesting point which I hadn't considered. Let me start by giving some context around why the incognito restriction was added initially. We were worried that a website might force users to use the native application when users are actually trying to use the website in a privacy preserving mode.

I think this is a useful privacy improvement that will benefit all origins. On the other hand, the situation described by @lknik might give a select few websites another signal for fingerprinting privacy preserving mode, although it will still have false positives (when users uninstall the pre-installed apps).

At this point, I believe the benefits of keeping the privacy preserving mode restrictions outweigh those of the alternative.

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