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RE: making progress on cookies

From: Graham Klyne <GK@acm.org>
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 1997 12:45:58 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: Yaron Goland <yarong@microsoft.com>
Cc: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
X-Mailing-List: <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com> archive/latest/4561
At 02:27 PM 10/12/97 -0700, Yaron Goland wrote:
>Privacy - I get scared whenever a public organization tries to decide
>what appropriate "privacy" is. That is a consumer decision, not an IETF
>one. The IETF's job is to provide secure interoperable protocols, not to
>decide for users what the appropriate level of privacy is.

(Please excuse if I stray off-topic for a moment...)

This comment strikes a chord with something I caught on the radio (BBC
Radio 4) yesterday -- a program about privacy and privacy legislation.  One
of the concluding comments was that privacy rules only work (or have
meaning) in a fundamentally trusting environment.  Without the widespread
expectation and honouring of trust in dealing with private information,
people would simply stop giving out such information.

This suggests that privacy is and must be a "consumer decision", and the
technical infrastructure needs to provide a framework for that choice to be
exercised. (Or people may stop using that framework?)

(On a personal note, I run my browser with cookies disabled, so I get a
prompt every time I hit a site that asks to set a cookie.  A consequence of
this is that some sites which set large numbers of cookies often get
abandoned after the 4th or 5th such attempt.)


Graham Klyne
Received on Monday, 13 October 1997 04:57:30 UTC

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