W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-tracking@w3.org > November 2011

Re: Action 32 -- Proposed language for site-specific exception

From: Nicholas Doty <npdoty@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2011 14:26:55 -0800
Cc: John Simpson <john@consumerwatchdog.org>, "Aleecia M. McDonald" <aleecia@aleecia.com>, "public-tracking@w3.org Group WG" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-Id: <09174825-2D0F-4060-A60C-A24A46A1F1C8@w3.org>
To: Shane Wiley <wileys@yahoo-inc.com>
One advantage of a tech-specific requirement (placing an opt-in cookie) would be the relative simplicity for users to clear all of their tracking opt-ins — just clear your cookies. If some sites use fingerprinting and other sites use localStorage and yet others use cookies to store a user's opt-back-in status, then a user would have to manually manage on a site-by-site basis if they decided they wanted to opt-out again.

We might be able to address this concern with some variation of the Tracking response header / well-known location such that user agents could detect when a user is being tracked because of an opt-back-in and give the user a pointer on how to clear it. This is also an advantage of the user-agent-managed list of site-specific exceptions: the user agent could make it easy for users to see and modify the list of site-specific exceptions.


On Nov 9, 2011, at 8:14 AM, Shane Wiley wrote:

> Thank you John – helpful starting point.  I’d suggest we not assert only a cookie as the “exception” memory mechanism but a recommended one.  It could be equally viable and appropriate to store this information in a registration key, a browser setting, or some other technical mechanism.
> - Shane
> From: John Simpson [mailto:john@consumerwatchdog.org] 
> Sent: Wednesday, November 09, 2011 8:00 AM
> To: Aleecia M. McDonald; Nicholas Doty
> Cc: public-tracking@w3.org Group WG
> Subject: Action 32 -- Proposed language for site-specific exception
> Proposed language for a site-specific exception using a cookie:
> When a DNT enabled user agent grants a site-specific exception, the site places a site-specific opt-in cookie on the user agent allowing the site to respond as a First Party.  The DNT header must remain enabled so that if the user returns to the site, both the user's general preference for DNT and the site-specific exception will be clear.  This could enable the site to provide a higher level of privacy than if DNT were not enabled, but less than if the exception had not been granted. Opt-in site-specific exception cookies should expire within three months, enabling the site to determine periodically whether the user intends to continue to grant an exception.
> ----------------
> John M. Simpson
> Consumer Advocate
> Consumer Watchdog
> Tel: 310-392-7041
Received on Wednesday, 9 November 2011 22:27:20 UTC

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