W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-tracking@w3.org > July 2012

Re: ISSUE-4 and clarity regarding browser defaults

From: David Wainberg <david@networkadvertising.org>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 11:44:00 -0400
Message-ID: <5012B740.5080101@networkadvertising.org>
To: Jeffrey Chester <jeff@democraticmedia.org>
CC: "Roy T.Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com>, Justin Brookman <jbrookman@cdt.org>, "public-tracking@w3.org" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Jeff,

We should be clear that taking first parties off the table is not a 
compromise. You and your colleagues have been clear that the rationale 
for this choice is that it is because users have direct relationships 
with first parties, and expect them to be collecting data. Furthermore, 
I'd argue that the collateral effects of aiming DNT exclusively at 3rd 
parties will be market consolidation, with a smaller number of parties 
collecting way more data, with incentives to tie it to PII. Therefore, 
not a net privacy benefit to users. I still can't understand why you 
would choose that result. In any case, advocates' decision to take 1st 
parties off the table was a philosophical/strategic one, not a 
concession, and is of no benefit to the large number of 3rd parties who 
will be severely impacted by DNT.

Also, let's be clear that DNT does not stop tracking and collection. It 
stops tracking and collection by 3rd parties. I fear users will not 
understand this, especially if DNT is on by default. They won't 
understand the choice that's been made for them, and the impact of that 
choice. I worry users will be mislead with respect to the extent that 
DNT changes the amount of data collected. Take Mozilla's survey, for 
example, " The survey showed that 49% of users surveyed believe their 
privacy is respected more when Do Not Track is enabled, as opposed to 
only 12% who feel that way without the setting." Given that DNT is 
barely implemented and has no standardized meaning, that's half of users 
that believe they're protected when they are not. This is one reason it 
MUST be an affirmative, informed choice by users.

-David

On 6/3/12 10:15 AM, Jeffrey Chester wrote:
> I believe having DNT:1 turned on from the start is appropriate for 
> users.  The industry has created a ubiquitous data collection system 
> by default (which it terms an "ecosystem").  Users have little choice 
> in an online world shaped by immersive and invisible strategies 
> designed to trigger conversion, viral social marketing, lead gen and 
> related data techniques (let alone a person sold to highest bidder on 
> exchanges).  The cross-platform measurement systems being put in 
> place, which mirror the unified marketing platforms, is another 
> example of a world where users have no real choices.   With DNT on 
> from the start,  a user can make more informed decisions about their 
> data collection practices and then decide how to proceed.
>
> Groups such as mine have already taken key issues off the table--such 
> as the need to control first parties.  We believe we can have both 
> monetization and privacy.  But we need to make DNT meaningful--to stop 
> tracking and collection.  I know that the consumer and privacy 
> community is committed to strike the right balance.  I look to the 
> industry leaders in this group to help make DNT a reality.
>
>
> Jeffrey Chester
> Center for Digital Democracy
> 1621 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 550
> Washington, DC 20009
> www.democraticmedia.org <http://www.democraticmedia.org>
> www.digitalads.org <http://www.digitalads.org>
> 202-986-2220
>
> On Jun 2, 2012, at 10:45 PM, Roy T. Fielding wrote:
>
>> On Jun 2, 2012, at 6:29 PM, Justin Brookman wrote:
>>
>>> Roy, this precise issue came up on the weekly call on Wednesday, and 
>>> Aleecia concluded that there was disagreement among the group on the 
>>> precise question of whether DNT:1 could be on by default, and that 
>>> we would discuss the issue in Seattle.
>>
>> What we talked about was whether a non-specific add-on (AVG) can
>> set the header field (ISSUE-149) and the impact of conflicting
>> extensions and configuration (ISSUE-150).
>>
>>> You can obviously do whatever you like to the document, but I just 
>>> wanted to point out that the editors seem to disagree with your 
>>> statement that we have reached consensus on this point.  The minutes 
>>> from the last call (http://www.w3.org/2012/05/30-dnt-minutes) seem 
>>> to back up my argument, but perhaps I am confused and misunderstood 
>>> what was said on Wednesday --- guidance from the chairs on this 
>>> point would be helpful.  (Also, FWIW, there is also another raised 
>>> ISSUE-143 on whether "activating a tracking preference must require 
>>> explicit, informed consent from a user" . . .)
>>
>> I believe 143 is about additional requirements on user awareness
>> of the new setting when DNT is enabled by an add-on/extension.
>>
>>> In the meantime, if you or anyone else could shed some light on why 
>>> DNT:1 on by default would make the standard more challenging to 
>>> implement, I would very much like to hear substantive arguments 
>>> about how that would not be workable.
>>
>> It isn't more challenging to implement.  It just won't be
>> implemented because it obscures the user's choice.  The essence
>> of any Recommendation is to encourage deployment of a given
>> protocol because it is good for everyone to do so, and we already
>> established that most of industry will deploy DNT if it accurately
>> reflects an individual user's choice.  We already discussed this
>> and made a decision. It has not yet been reopened to further
>> discussion, so I am not going to explain it further.
>>
>>> Thus far, I have only heard assertions by fiat that we can't discuss 
>>> the issue and tautological interpretations of the word 
>>> "preference."  If there are technical reasons by DNT:1 on by default 
>>> would pose problems, what are they (I'm not saying they don't exist, 
>>> I just don't know)?
>>
>> The technical reason is that it wouldn't match the defined
>> semantics for the field.  That could obviously be fixed by
>> changing the definition of the field, but since that is one
>> of the few things we have agreed to already, we have a process
>> that must be followed to reopen the issue.  Otherwise, we have
>> no chance of finishing anything.
>>
>> ....Roy
>
Received on Friday, 27 July 2012 15:44:31 UTC

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