The Bot That Cried Wolf: Battery tracking poses no real privacy threat
IT’s relationship with privacy is delicate. Corporate IT needs to take privacy fears very seriously, but if IT jumps and shouts at every tiny possible privacy invasion, we’ll have the Bot That Cried Wolf. Put another way, the best way to weaken privacy protections is to embrace so many privacy problems that none have any significance.
Am I suggesting that manufactured privacy issues are obscuring real ones? Absolutely. For proof, one needs look no further than last week’s battery brouhaha from a report that noted that websites can track people based on their batteries, skirting opt-in privacy rules that allow battery strength reports to be shared without site visitor permission. For those who bother to read the full report, its details do a wonderful job of establishing that if a site manager wants to invade someone’s privacy, that manager could do far better than peeking at energy levels.