Google Chrome 94 arrives with controversial Idle Detection API

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In the latest version of Chrome—the first to use the new four-week release cycle instead of the old six-week schedule—Google has introduced the Idle Detection API. It...
What just happened? Chrome 94 has arrived for Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows, bringing several new features to the world's most popular browser, but not all of them are being warmly received. The new Idle Detection API that detects user inactivity has raised privacy concerns from some big tech companies.

works by notifying web applications when users are idle, recognized by a lack of keyboard or mouse use, activation of a screensaver, locking of the screen, or moving to a different screen.

Designed for multi-user applications such as chat apps and online games, the Idle Detection API is enabled by default in Chrome 94. "Applications which facilitate collaboration require more global signals about whether the user is idle than are provided by existing mechanisms that only consider a user's interaction with the application's own tab," states the release notes.

Mozilla is one company that isn't a fan of the feature, calling it an "opportunity for surveillance…
Rob Thubron
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