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RE: ACTION-152 - Write up logged-in-means-out-of-band-consent

From: Shane Wiley <wileys@yahoo-inc.com>
Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2012 20:54:12 -0700
To: Rigo Wenning <rigo@w3.org>, "public-tracking@w3.org" <public-tracking@w3.org>
CC: Alan Chapell <achapell@chapellassociates.com>, Jeffrey Chester <jeff@democraticmedia.org>, Jonathan Mayer <jmayer@stanford.edu>, David Singer <singer@apple.com>, John Simpson <john@consumerwatchdog.org>
Message-ID: <63294A1959410048A33AEE161379C8023D1171CA23@SP2-EX07VS02.ds.corp.yahoo.com>

I disagree with your basic premise here: '"Out-of-band" is creating the trouble, because it imports troubles from outside in our definition space and we have to decide in how far we accept that (see below).'

We've always said since the very early days of this working group that user consent would trump DNT - full stop.  I don't believe anyone has issues with that perspective and now the conversation has moved to "what would be fair and appropriate consent?".  While I don't disagree with the question, I believe it is up to local legal jurisdictions to answer this questions for companies that operate in their territories (this should allow the EU to give their "blessing" as you've stated).  This does not mean that the only option is 22 pages of legalese, as you suggest, and may instead be as simple as an in-registration flow notice or some other approach.  The issue is attempting to be overly prescriptive here and define "meaningful consent" in this forum.  It's too broad of topic to handle quickly but if we're willing to postpone the TPWG time table by 4 to 5 months then we may have a chance at addressing it here.  I'm assuming the original timeframe is a higher priority and would therefore respectively suggest we can use broad terms such as "fair and appropriate" but suggest we stay away from more prescriptive terms or descriptions than these.

- Shane

-----Original Message-----
From: Rigo Wenning [mailto:rigo@w3.org] 
Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2012 1:07 PM
To: public-tracking@w3.org
Cc: Alan Chapell; Jeffrey Chester; Shane Wiley; Jonathan Mayer; David Singer; John Simpson
Subject: Re: ACTION-152 - Write up logged-in-means-out-of-band-consent


1/ we do not set standards at W3C, we issue Recommendations. Being involved in 
more traditional standardization, I know the difference between both and I'm 
happy to explain, but I assume you know this at least as much as I do. 

2/ We do technical specification here. And this means we define a certain 
header that comes with a HTTP GET request. Now we define what the server 
should do in case the server receives that header and wants to be compliant to 
the Recommendation. "Out-of-band" is creating the trouble, because it imports 
troubles from outside in our definition space and we have to decide in how far 
we accept that (see below)

3/ Whether our factual specifications are accepted as "consent", "meaningful 
consent" or "informed consent" is not up to the Group as those definitions are 
under a different sovereignty. But what we can discuss is whether we want to 
align with requirements as defined elsewhere. We do that e.g. by trying to get 
some EU blessing with our tool so that it is really really useful for industry 
there and by inviting those others to our table.

So, to me, the consent discussion is a wrong discussion here, but has some 
merit. The problem of ISSUE-115 is that a user may not be consciously logged 
in. (see my other email).  By allowing any "out-of-band" agreement to trump 
DNT, ALL other sovereign definitions will trump DNT, whatever they are. This 
will open the path back to the deep legalese that allows for all those nice 
surprises*. And this is just giving in to any outside authority to invent 
something that may serve as an argument to ignore the DNT signal and STILL 
claim compliance. Accordingly, we are back into reading 22 pages of legalese 
as they can tell whether the DNT signal will be ignored. And this would even 
be compliant. This being compliant affects the value of the W3C Specification. 
And W3C is the venue where we talk about W3C Specifications. That's why I 
think we have a right to discuss criteria to put limitations on arbitrary 
"out-of-band" agreements and when we accept that those can compliantly top the 
W3C Specification. 

This gives us a truckload of choices:

1/ Try to really understand what Shane wants to avoid and define this to get 
the Spec closer to reality

2/ Re-consider JC's solution to give DNT a meaning in a logged-in scenario 
(David, I disagree that this would be too subtle)

3/ require "direct interaction"

4/ explore the browser-maker outrage if we start telling them they should show 
us when we are logged in to something

5/ Define the meaning of "logged in" for the compliance with the W3C 

etc ... 

If we brainstorm, there are more solutions..



*My favorite example was that by buying a coffee maker you subscribed to 
receiving a pound of coffee every week for 5 years at an outrageous price. 
(Court decision, Germany, 1957) 

On Thursday 29 March 2012 12:10:39 Alan Chapell wrote:
> I don't think the issue is regarding 'commitment' to meaningful consent. The
> issue is whether this is the appropriate forum to set pan-world standards
> for consent. Hence, I await some clarification from our co-chairs on
> process.
Received on Monday, 2 April 2012 03:55:11 UTC

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