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Tech & ScienceApple’s new Safari privacy settings threaten web-based VR and AR

15:06  05 february  2019
15:06  05 february  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Apple ’ s Safari browser will soon stop websites from using your phone’s motion data by default, potentially breaking web - based AR and VR experiences that rely on this functionality, reports DigiDay. With iOS 12.2, the company is introducing a new privacy setting called “Motion and Orientation

Apple is about to release a new version of its mobile operating system iOS. It' s going to add some hotly anticipated features, including a new version of Safari , but there might be some problems with the This should improve privacy and security, but also might be consequential to online VR and AR apps.

Apple’s new Safari privacy settings threaten web-based VR and AR

Apple’s Safari browser will soon stop websites from using your phone’s motion data by default, potentially breaking web-based AR and VR experiences that rely on this functionality, reports DigiDay. With iOS 12.2, the company is introducing a new privacy setting called “Motion and Orientation Access” into version 12.1 of its browser, which will be disabled by default.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but DigiDay speculates that a report from Wired last year is to blame for the changes. The report raised concerns that thousands of sites used scripts that pull data from a phone’s motion-sensors without the user’s consent. Many of these sites then used this data for tracking, analytics-gathering, and audience recognition.

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Apple Pay in Safari lets you shop safely and simply. Safari for Mac is faster and more energy efficient than other And a new download manager means you can easily download and share files right in Safari . Personalize your browsing experience in Safari with settings for individual websites , like

Web - based branded experiences that would be affected by Apple ’ s change include AR experiences that Sony Pictures rolled out for “Spider-Man: Into the Although users can re-enable the feature, they would have to exit Safari and enable it in settings , something iPhone users are unlikely to do casually.

Multiple VR and AR developers spoken to by DigiDay said that they expected the changes to break aspects of their sites’ functionality. It could affect web-based experiences such as promotional sites for Sony’s First Man, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and the “Samsung Within” site, for example.

The report noted that access to other data from a phone — such as location data — is preceded by a pop-up asking for user permission, but it’s currently unclear whether sites will be able to generate a similar notification to ask for access to motion data. DigiDay speculates that an affected website could detect when Safari is being used to access it, and could direct a user to the relevant settings page to give their consent.

Even if this is possible, it could still be a problem for developers. The attraction of web-based AR and VR content is its low barrier to entry compared with alternatives that require a dedicated app or headset. However, requiring people to open their settings menu introduces a barrier — albeit a small one — that could be the difference between someone trying a VR experience for the first time, or giving it a pass.

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