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Re: Issue 115, exemptions, best practices: Issue 25 and 34

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 14:56:20 -0800
Cc: "public-tracking@w3.org Group WG" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-Id: <146FC4CC-E278-4316-9E6E-6867445A086E@gbiv.com>
To: Karl Dubost <karld@opera.com>
On Feb 27, 2012, at 2:09 PM, Karl Dubost wrote:

> sorry for being slightly off-topic.
> The summary being:
> 
> Privacy issues will not be solved by DNT. 
> Privacy issues will be solved by changing the business model.

I don't see why you expect use of the Internet to view online services
and occasionally purchase things to be comparable to walking into a
shop in the "real world", buying something with cash, and then walking
out the door with that physical item purchased.

It is more like using a telephone.  The access is recorded.  Cash is
not exchangeable, so we are limited to transfers of virtual funds that
also have to be recorded.  Many of the purchases online are for electronic
content that is easily reproducible for fraud, so that too has to be
recorded.  Recording these things is not an issue because access to
the trail collected by them is protected by law.

Yes, none of that is as private as walking into a bookstore, flipping
through a few books, and then buying one you like with cash.  OTOH,
bookstores do take pictures of customers when they walk in the door
and can keep those images for a reasonable period of time to combat
normal store thefts. Consider what would happen if you rolled a scanner
into a bookstore and started scanning the books instead of just reading
them.  The owner would kick you out and might report you to the police.

So, yes, privacy does suffer on the Internet.  If it were not for the
extreme risks of unlawful behavior, people could get around that by
hiring a service to make purchases for them.  Because such a service
is effectively impossible due to widespread illegal activity whenever
one is introduced, the user is limited to half-measures like buying
pre-loaded debit cards and browsing in private mode, neither of which
requires DNT.

Industry does not consider this to be a problem because the vast
majority of customers do not see it as a problem.  Some privacy is
always lost when a person interacts with the rest of the world.

....Roy
Received on Monday, 27 February 2012 23:07:43 UTC

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