HTML 5 Set to Revolutionise Data Protection on the Web
Plans to ‘digitally lock’ media are set to be rolled out in the next iteration of HTML 5 web technology. Such locking mechanisms will allow digital rights owners to prevent users from copying, viewing or sharing web data as simple as text or images.
Although this will provide digital rights holders further flexibility and security with how they deliver content to users, it also poses serious questions on how this will impact the freedom of the web. HTML is a standard for all websites on the world wide web, this is the first time we have seen the technology evolve to offer built in DRM (digital rights management) protection, similar to what is used to protect DVD movies.
The W3C, the authority which controls web standards, have been approached by various campaigners to reconsider this new addition, arguing that it sacrifices their “computing freedom”.
Jeffrey Jaffe, the W3C’s chief executive highlighted that such changes are required to meet the needs of both the corporations (being digital rights owners) and the consumers. “Without content protection, owners of premium video content, driven by both their economic goals and their responsibilities to others, will simply deprive the open web of key content.”
Web technologies are constantly evolving, although uptake for HTML5 has been slow, with many still using HTML 4 elements. The unpopularity of this new innovation to protect digital media will most likely to be rejected, if not, adopted extremely slowly.