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Re: Action-101: Revise text for Issue-6, What are the underlying concerns?

From: David Wainberg <dwainberg@appnexus.com>
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2012 19:01:20 -0500
Message-ID: <4F3069D0.1000502@appnexus.com>
To: John Simpson <john@consumerwatchdog.org>
CC: "<public-tracking@w3.org> (public-tracking@w3.org)" <public-tracking@w3.org>, "Aleecia M. McDonald" <aleecia@aleecia.com>, Matthias Schunter <mts@zurich.ibm.com>, Nicholas Doty <npdoty@w3.org>, Thomas Roessler <tlr@w3.org>
Two quick questions. First, what is to be done with this text? It is in 
answer to a raised issue, but is the intent to include it in one of the 
draft docs? Second, except for a single response (from Bjoern) this text 
does not seem to have been discussed; is this to be discussed in an 
upcoming call?

On 2/2/12 4:15 PM, John Simpson wrote:
> Colleagues:
>
> Following completes Action-101, revise draft text for the the 
> Compliance and Scope Specification,  Issue-6, based on feedback from 
> the mail list.
>
> John
> ---------------------------
>
>
> Issue Number: Issue-6
>
> Issue Name:
> What are underlying concerns? Why are we doing this? What are people 
> afraid of?
>
> Issue URL:
> http://www.w3.org/2011/tracking-protection/track/issues/6
>
> Section number in the FPWD: 2.1 Goals
>
> Contributors to this text:
> John M. Simpson
> Kevin Trilli
>
> Description:
> Explaining stakeholders' concerns and the reasons to offer Do Not 
> Track help put the Tracking Compliance and Scope standard in context 
> so its importance will be understood.
>
> Specification:
> The user experience online involves the exchange of data across 
> servers. At the most basic level, online communication requires the 
> exchange of IP addresses between two parties. Completion of e-commerce 
> transactions normally involves the sending of credit card numbers and 
> user contact information. However, the user experience also often 
> involves unintentional disclosure of data and the commercial 
> compilation of many different kinds of user data by different 
> entities. Much web content is supported by advertising and much of 
> this advertising is linked to either the content of the page visited 
> or to a profile about the particular user or computer. Complex 
> business models have arisen around these online data flows.
>
> Exactly how this information is gathered and used is not clear to most 
> users. Moreover, users have repeatedly expressed concerns about the 
> use of their data,  as this data can be considered personal or even 
> sensitive.  For example, a Consumers Union Poll 
> (http://www.consumersunion.org/pub/core_telecom_and_utilities/006189.html ) 
> found that 72 percent or respondents are concerned that their online 
> behaviors were being tracked and profiled by companies. A poll 
> conducted for Consumer Watchdog by Grove Insight found 80 percent 
> support for a "Do Not Track" feature 
> (http://insidegoogle.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/wfreInternet.release1.pdf). 
> TRUSTe featured two research studies attempting to quantify consumer 
> concerns around tracking in mobile (April 2011) 
> (http://www.truste.com/about_TRUSTe/press-room/news_truste_mobile_privacy_survey_results_2011) 
> and more generally around OBA (July 2011) 
> http://www.truste.com/ad-privacy/TRUSTe-2011-Consumer-Behavioral-Advertising-Survey-Results.pdf) 
>  The Special European Barometer 359  ( 
> http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_359_en.pdf) found 
> that 54 percent of respondents were uncomfortable with the fact that 
> websites "use information about your online activity to tailor 
> advertisements or content to your hobbies and interests."
>
> In non-US jurisdictions, consumers have a different, and higher, 
> expectation around privacy, which stems closer to a fundamental 
> "right" granted to them as part of their citizenship of a particular 
> country.  The concept of non-permissive collection of their browsing 
> behavior and personal information is antithetical to their fundamental 
> values and expectations of how they should be treated online.
>
> In response to such concerns in 2007 several public interest groups 
> including the World Privacy Forum, CDT and EFF, asked the U.S. Federal 
> Trade Commission to create a Do Not Track list for online advertising. 
> The idea was compared to the popular  "Do Not Call" list administered 
> by the Commission.  Other groups around the world have followed suit 
> like eDAA and Canada, and are in some cases pushing for an express 
> consent model (opt-in) vs. opt-out model.
>
> It became clear that a Do Not Track list was impractical, but support 
> for the concept of empowering users to have greater control over the 
> information that is gathered about them has continued.  Providing more 
> transparency about data flows and empowering users to control their 
> data, will bolster users' confidence in the Internet. Such an outcome 
> is a win, win for business and consumers alike.
>
> The accompanying Tracking Preference Expression recommendation 
> explains how a user, through a user agent, can clearly express a 
> desire not to be tracked. This Tracking Compliance and Scope 
> recommendation sets the standard for the obligations of a website that 
> receives such a DNT message.
>
> Taken together these two standards should have three substantial outcomes:
>
>  1. Empower users  to manage their preference around the collection
>     and correlation of data about Internet activities that occur on
>     different sites and spell out the obligations of sites in honoring
>     those preferences when DNT is enabled.
>  2. Provide an exceedingly straightforward way for users to gain
>     transparency and control over data usage and the personalization
>     of content and advertising on the web.
>  3. Enable a vibrant Internet to continue to flourish economically by
>     supporting innovative business models while protecting users' privacy.
>
> Examples and use cases:
> 1.Several of the stated research studies have shown that when 
> consumers are asked about their preferences around tracking, usually a 
> large majority state they do not wish to be tracked under any 
> circumstances, even when told of how the tracking is to be used (e.g., 
> to provide relevant advertising).
>
> 2.However, research of this type doesn't often map to reality when it 
> comes to actual behavior of consumers using technology to control this 
> preference.  Examples include:
> a. Users that block 3rd party cookies by default, or that clear their 
> cookies after each setting.
> b. Users of third party privacy add-ons to help manage their privacy.
> c. Users that have seen the AdChoices icon, clicked on it and opt-ed 
> out of tracking in the current DAA regime.
> d  Recent DNT data from Mozilla shows a very small minority of uptake 
> and usage.
>
> In each of these cases, a very small minority have chosen to use these 
> technologies.  But, it can be argued that for the average user, all of 
> these methods are just complex to use and as such a simpler framework 
> is needed.  Hence, why consumer advocacy and governments intervene.
>
> 3.Users are often offered a free ad-supported application or service 
> (vs. a paid-for equivalent) and still continue to select free apps 
> when given the choice.  [The underlying assumption is that they 
> associate "seeing apps" with "tracking".]
>
> 4.In the EU, the issue of choice takes a higher level position of 
> human right based upon Article 8 of The Charter of Fundamental Rights 
> of the European Union and Article 8 of The European Convention on 
> Human Rights, the former saying,"Such data must be processed fairly 
> for specified purposes and on the basis of the consent of the person 
> concerned or some other legitimate basis laid down by law." In this 
> case, it is argued that all citizens should offer express consent 
> prior to allowing any tracking that is not absolutely critical to 
> delivering the fundamental function of the visited website.
>
> 5.Another level to this argument argument  is that everyone is at 
> least due transparency and the *option* to express a preference with 
> the belief that that preference will mean something (accountability). 
>  This is a fundamental right in the value exchange of personal 
> information online, especially when data is already being collected 
> without that person's knowledge or explicit permission.  Whether it is 
> opt-in or opt-out can vary by location of course.  If such system was 
> prevalent then perhaps  more people would change their minds on 
> willingness to be tracked.
>
> ----------
> 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 <http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org>
> john@consumerwatchdog.org <mailto:john@consumerwatchdog.org>
>
Received on Tuesday, 7 February 2012 00:08:18 UTC

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