Apps? No root? Your device serves others: Berners-Lee

The right to have root on your machine, that is, full administrator access to your computing devices including smartphones, is a key issue, Sir Tim Berners-Lee told a geek-heavy audience at the 2013 conference in Canberra this morning.

The right to have root on your machine is the right to store things which operate on your behalf, he said.

Berners-Lee recognised that when ordinary users have administrator rights on their devices, it introduces a security risk: The applications they install might inherit those rights and use them to perform malicious actions.

In the situation that we have apps working on someone else’s behalf, then we need to work on the security models. The JavaScript security models, the containment of cross-site access, are the best we can do at the moment… If you’ve got ideas about how we can make it more manageable and more powerful… I’d like to hear — via

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