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Re: [Issue-5] [Action-77] Defining Tunnel-Vision 'Do Not (Cross-Site) Track'

From: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Thu, 02 Feb 2012 08:44:54 +0000
Cc: "public-tracking@w3.org (public-tracking@w3.org)" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-id: <3AC66409-8950-4E84-BFFE-913BE0EF6C12@apple.com>
To: John Simpson <john@consumerwatchdog.org>

On Feb 1, 2012, at 21:37 , John Simpson wrote:

> How does this approach work in light of the way referrers work?

you would generally be allowed to use the referrer information only in real-time, and not record it.

> 
> 
> On Jan 29, 2012, at 8:15 AM, David Singer wrote:
> 
>> This is a revision of my previous email, and a response to Action-77, which is one of 6 (?) actions related to Issue-5.  Please ask questions as needed to clarify, and I will write a composite revised definition, so we can close Action-77, and (once that's been done for the other formulations) Issue-5.
>> 
>> This is an alternative to restricting tracking via a 1st/3rd party distinction. I want to emphasize, I am doing this to explore and learn, not to 'promote' any particular direction.  I hope people find it helpful.
>> 
>> (All these definitions etc. rely on being able to define "site" or "party", by the way.  I don't see how to escape that, as many have pointed out, since it's within a 'party' that information flows, and so on.)
>> 
>> 
>> RULE
>> 
>> Informally, we allow sites only to record what they do and learn *directly* about the interaction between themselves and the user. 
>> 
>> The formal rule is this:
>> 
>> When DNT is on (1):
>> Data records that both identify or could identify, a single USER, and also identify, or could identify, a single SITE (that is part of a Party),
>> * MUST identify or be capable of identifying no other Party, or site that is part of any other Party;
>> * MUST be derived only from transactions directly between the identified Party and the user, possibly combined with publicly available data, 
>> * MUST be available/accessible only to/by the identified Party,
>> * MUST NOT contain user-specific non-public information derived or passed, directly or indirectly, from any other Party, 
>> 
>> If the data is held by another party on behalf of the identified party, that holding party MUST have no rights to use the data.
>> 
>> Records derived when DNT is on (1), MUST be held separately from other data derived when DNT is not on (1).
>> 
>> EXCEPTIONS
>> 
>> not needed:
>> 
>> Outsourcing exception: not needed, it's part of the rule in the first place.
>> 1st-party exception: not needed: all sites/parties are allowed to remember the user's interactions with them.
>> Unidentifiable data exception: not needed, as the definition here only concerns user-identifiable data in the first place (which can probably be true for all rule sets)
>> Operational exceptions:
>>  frequency capping, story-boarding: not needed; the ad site is permitted to remember what IT served YOU, just not a lot of why (which 1st party you were on, etc.)
>>  financial logging: separate un-identified records can be kept on the number of impressions on a 1st-party site (why is this not true for all proposals?)
>>  3rd party auditing: again, is it necessary to keep a record that identifies a specific user?
>> 
>> potentially needed:
>> 
>> Operational exceptions:
>>  security/fraud: an exception may be needed here, especially if cross-site fraud is to be detected
>>  research/market-analytics: we don't have a current formulation, and the title is broad enough to allow almost anything, so I can't tell
>>  product improvement: this is an issue, again with a serious risk of slippery slope
>>  debugging: yes, an exception may be needed for debugging
>> Legal exception: tracking to the extent required by law
>> 
>> Comments on TUNNEL-VISION 
>> 
>> If a user runs sometimes with DNT:0 and sometimes DNT:1, they will end up with two records at sites, one with a lot of other-site data, and the second record with tunnel-vision.  Correlation by the site would enable merging these; this is the weakest aspect of this strawman, IMHO.  Under the alternative 'cross-site' formulation, I think each site would keep N+1 records (1 for when DNT is off, and N for the number of 1st party sites 'seen' by this 3rd party for this user).
>> 
>> Frequency capping and storyboarding by advertisers are now permitted; you ARE allowed to remember what ad you showed this (anonymous) user, since that was *your* transaction.  You're limited in remembering only site-generic 'why' -- you cannot remember 'they visited Sears and so I showed a dishwasher advert'.  
>> 
>> If the user starts interacting with *you*, you can remember that also; we don't need language to make this an exception, or 'promotion' from 3rd to 1st party.
>> 
>> Redirection services can remember basically only that the user was active on the web, since everything else they know (the original URL, the re-direct) either identify or could be used to identify another site.
>> 
>> The attraction of this rule is that many fewer exceptions are needed.  The downside of this formulation is that it relies on sites not to re-correlate the records, though there is still a lot of data that cannot be recorded.
>> 
>> David Singer
>> Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.
>> 
>> 
> 
> ----------
> John M. Simpson
> Consumer Advocate
> Consumer Watchdog
> 1750 Ocean Park Blvd. ,Suite 200
> Santa Monica, CA,90405
> Tel: 310-392-7041
> Cell: 310-292-1902
> www.ConsumerWatchdog.org
> john@consumerwatchdog.org
> 

David Singer
Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.
Received on Thursday, 2 February 2012 08:45:27 UTC

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