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Call for Comments - DAA Response

From: Lou Mastria <lou@aboutads.info>
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2014 16:21:12 -0400
To: <public-tracking-comments@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CFC76CF8.1DA84%lou@aboutads.info>
June 18, 2014
Jeff Jaffe, Chief Executive Officer
32 Vassar Street
Room 32-G515
Cambridge, MA 02139 USA
Re:       W3C Tracking Protection Working Group (³TPWG²)

Dear Mr. Jaffe,
We wrote to you last year to express our deep concern over the prospect of
the TPWG moving forward with ³do not track² efforts, in disregard for the
group¹s processes and procedures and in a departure from the W3C¹s mission
to build consensus around setting technology standards, not complex public
policy matters. With the TPWG¹s release in April of the ³Last Call Working
Draft of the Tracking Preference Expression² and the call for comments, the
TPWG has now demonstrated its intention to proceed with this misaligned
process, and we write again to register our objection to this development.
As we stated previously, this is not an appropriate process or means for
moving forward on policy decisions that could affect the future of an entire
online ecosystem.  The TPWG is an organization of individuals who do not
represent the interests of all stakeholders, and now seeks to issue a
non-consensus decision that would have a significant impact on consumers,
commerce, national and global economies, jobs, and the overall health of the
Internet ecosystem.  The TPWG¹s attempt to redefine established industry
practice and consumer expectations in an area where widespread consensus
already exists is counterproductive.
As noted in my letter to you dated September 16, 2013, in light of the
continued breakdown of the TPWG process and the lack of consensus on any of
the core issues or terms, the Digital Advertising Alliance (³DAA²)‹like
several other participants‹has chosen to terminate its participation and
investment in the TPWG.  All sides agree that the TPWG is not a sensible use
of W3C resources and that the process will not yield a workable result.[1]
<#_ftn1>  These participants and others who previously supported the TPWG
have concluded that the process has outlived any utility it may have had and
no longer justifies participation or support.
The TPWG¹s failure does not exist in a vacuum. While the TPWG has struggled
for years to achieve any meaningful progress or build any consensus, the DAA
has continued to advance consumer control, transparency, and other critical
practices.   As you know, the DAA is a non-profit organization led by the
leading advertising and marketing trade associations including the
Association of National Advertisers (³ANA²), the American Association of
Advertising Agencies (³4As²), the Direct Marketing Association (³DMA²), the
Interactive Advertising Bureau (³IAB²), the American Advertising Federation
(³AAF²), and the Network Advertising Initiative (³NAI²), in consultation
with the Council of Better Business Bureaus (³CBBB²).  The DAA¹s program
delivers real value to consumers including by providing persistent opt outs;
extending coverage to the entire digital ecosystem; growing participation;
enhancing transparency through delivery of the DAA¹s Icon; clarifying how
the DAA¹s Principles apply in the mobile Web and app environments; educating
consumers; and expanding these consumer safeguards into more than 30
countries.  Unlike the TPWG, the DAA has established a robust program that
provides consumers with real tools for controlling their online experience,
a program that continues to adapt with the evolving technological landscape.
As we have noted on several occasions, policymakers, regulators, advocates,
and industry representatives have grappled with these types of policy issues
for decades and continue to deliberate on these matters.  By wading into
this public policy matter, the W3C not only duplicates efforts undertaken by
legitimate policymakers but also strays far beyond its expertise and
We conclude by calling on the W3C to abandon this effort and to return to
its mission of developing consensus around specifications for web
technologies.  Such a path would result in the appropriate level of focus to
achieve the organization¹s objectives.  The W3C should defer to established
industry and policy bodies that are equipped to address these complex policy
Lou Mastria
Executive Director, DAA

[1] <#_ftnref1> See Lou Mastria, Letter Regarding ³W3C Tacking Protection
Working Group (³TPWG²)² Sept. 16, 2013 noting comments of Jonathan Mayer
(³Given the lack of a viable path to consensus, I can no longer justify the
substantial time, travel, and effort associated with continuing in the
Working Group²); Comments of John Simpson, Director, Privacy Project,
Consumer Watchdog (³Peter Swire gave it a good shot, but I don¹t think that
he or anybody can get this group to a general consensus²).
Received on Wednesday, 18 June 2014 20:21:48 UTC

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