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

From: Rigo Wenning <rigo@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2012 21:57:31 +0100
To: public-tracking@w3.org
Cc: John Simpson <john@consumerwatchdog.org>, "Aleecia M. McDonald" <aleecia@aleecia.com>, Matthias Schunter <mts@zurich.ibm.com>, Nicholas Doty <npdoty@w3.org>, Thomas Roessler <tlr@w3.org>
Message-ID: <30223920.aDNeAlmB4M@hegel>
John, 

thanks for the text. Two remarks:

1/ I think it is too long

2/ While the consumer-protection aspect is clearly stated, the protection of 
democracy aspect is not clear and is hidden in the "human rights" statement.

While I understand that you only talk from a consumer standpoint, consumption 
is not the only value we should care about. 

Best, 

Rigo



On Thursday 02 February 2012 13:15:05 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.p
> df). 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_s
> urvey_results_2011) and more generally around OBA (July 2011)
> http://www.truste.com/ad-privacy/TRUSTe-2011-Consumer-Behavioral-Advertisin
> g-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:
> 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. 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. 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
> john@consumerwatchdog.org
Received on Saturday, 11 February 2012 20:57:59 UTC

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