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Chrome 56 Adds Bluetooth Snitch API (will tell you when your fridge needs defrosting)



When Google popped out Chrome 56 at the end of January it was keen to remind us it's making the web safer by flagging non-HTTPS sites. But Google made little effort to publicise another feature that's decidedly less friendly to privacy, because it lets websites ask about users' Bluetooth devices and harvest information from them through the browser. That's more a pitch to developers, as is clear in this YouTube video from Pete LePage of the Chrome Developers team.

"Until now, the ability to communicate with Bluetooth devices has been possible only for native apps. With Chrome 56, your Web app can communicate with nearby Bluetooth devices in a private and secure manner, using the Web Bluetooth API," Google shares in the video. "The Web Bluetooth API uses the GATT [Generic Attribute Profile - ed] protocol, which enables your app to connect to devices such as light bulbs, toys, heart-rate monitors, LED displays and more, with just a few lines of _javascript_."

In other words, the API lets websites ask your browser "what Bluetooth devices can you see," find out what your fridge, and so on, is capable of, and interact with it.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/02/05/chrome_56_quietly_added_bluetooth_snitch_api/

https://yro.slashdot.org/story/17/02/06/1425208/chrome-56-quietly-added-bluetooth-snitch-api