Yet the privacy concerns go beyond HTML5’s facilitation of long term data storage. As it sits today, the new standard also includes geo-location functionality (see demo here). In a related report by University of California at Berkley researchers Nick Doty, Deirdre K. Mulligan and Erik Wilde the group stated:
“The W3C’s Geolocation API may rapidly standardize the transmission of location information on the Web, but, in dealing with such sensitive information, it also raises serious privacy concerns.”
The UC Berkley report relays survey findings which indicate that “location information has been identified as the most sensitive element of information shared within social networks.” The IETF additionally has a working group called GEOPRIV who’s mission is to establish acceptable means of working with geo-location data. Among other things, the group’s charter states:
“The GEOPRIV working group is chartered to continue to develop and refine representations of location in Internet protocols, and to analyze the authorization, integrity, and privacy requirements that must be met when these representations of location are created, stored, and used.”
It seems the geo-location privacy conversation will remain an energetic space, which may affect the ultimate form and shape of the HTML5 spec.