There’s been plenty of worry over the years about Internet privacy, “but the alarmists have not seen anything yet,” warns the New York Times in a front-page story on the dangers of HTML5. The new web standards will bring tons of new features—“It’s going to change everything … it’s the new web,” gushes one web developer—but it will also make surfer’s computers much more vulnerable to trackers.
HTML5 allows large amounts of data to be collected and stored on a user’s hard drive while they’re online—kind of like cookies on steroids. As a result, advertisers may be able to see weeks or months worth of data, including emails, web history, address, shopping cart items and more. It “gives trackers one more bucket to put tracking information into,” says the CTO for the Opera browser, while a privacy advocate frets that the standard “opens Pandora’s box of tracking in the Internet.”