W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-p3p-spec@w3.org > December 2003

Ad server problem

From: Giles Hogben <giles.hogben@jrc.it>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2003 16:57:55 +0100
To: <public-p3p-spec@w3.org>
Cc: <rigo@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000001c3bf36$5fd83550$362abf8b@cs.jrc.it>
Here is an attempt at a clear description of the problem discussed on the
last couple of calls

Advert providers cannot be considered data controllers because they act
purely as a pipeline for data which is passed to  entities posting ads.
Furthermore, responsibility is not based on the URL of the advert but
usually on the URL of the referrer page for the advert + the URL of the
advert. This means that the normal mechanisms for P3P policy binding do not
work because the practices connected to data collection for a particular ad
are neither a function of the ad url NOR of the referring url but a
combination of the two. Even an attempt to define a policy binding based on
a combination of the ad and the referrer would fail because sometimes the
referrer is missing.

See attached diagram

Perhaps people could comment on whether this description is clear.  

What we need is something that can give us policy reference files which
could point to policies applying to for example Ford Motor Company ads
posted on Google. I am still not entirely clear why using a combination of
the referer and the ad uri could not be used as a binding. The fact that the
referrer may be missing seems not so relevant because if it is missing, then
data probably won't be collected anyway.

Giles Hogben
European Commission Joint Research Centre
Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen Cybersecurity
New technologies for Combatting Fraud Unit


(image/gif attachment: webadproblem.gif)

Received on Wednesday, 10 December 2003 11:03:42 UTC

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