Warning: This is just a random idea that I had.
Browsers and operating systems can sync the user’s data and preferences across devices (e.g., I use Firefox Sync and iCloud syncing.)
What if websites could leverage this system to sync the preferences of their visitors without having to log them in?
- A user visits a gaming site regularly.
- Over time, the user’s preferences become known to the site, e.g., which types of games they like and what kind of content on the website they view the most.
- The site displays a section that invites the user to sync these preferences via the browser’s sync feature.
- The user chooses to do so, and the browser shows a prompt: “Would you like to store your preferences on this website in browser sync?”
- Now, if the user has browser sync enabled on a different device and opens the same website on that device, the site will be able to access its stored preferences for that user and update its UI accordingly.
The amount of data that an individual website could store this way would of course be limitied (I’m thinking small-ish JSON strings). The API would be similar to the Storage API: The site has to request storage/access rights, and the storage-request prompt can only be triggered on user interaction.
This system would solve the problem for users where they have to create accounts on each website. When I as a user visit the same website on multiple devices, I want to have one, continuous experience, but creating accounts on every single website and logging in constantly is a bad experience.
Wait a second. Websites could just sync the user’s anonymous session cookie via this system. That would be another option.
Ok, why is this a bad idea?