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Re: tracking-ISSUE-150: DNT conflicts from multiple user agents [Tracking Definitions and Compliance]

From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Date: Sun, 03 Jun 2012 01:08:33 +0200
To: "Dobbs, Brooks" <brooks.dobbs@kbmg.com>
Cc: Justin Brookman <justin@cdt.org>, "public-tracking@w3.org" <public-tracking@w3.org>, Shane Wiley <wileys@yahoo-inc.com>
Message-ID: <3i4ls7dl5dvuicrq7qhh9ucg486ionoott@hive.bjoern.hoehrmann.de>
* Dobbs, Brooks wrote:
>I am not sure there is full consistency here.  I read the spec as saying
>³Key to that notion of expression is that it must reflect the user's
>preference².  This seems pretty foundational to me.  Where there is a
>significant likelihood for the origin server to believe that the expression
>is not a reflection of the user¹s preference (either as a 1 or a 0),
>wouldn¹t such server  be in error to process it accordingly?

The DNT specifications do not require tracking, so failing to track will
not make you non-compliant, whatever your assumptions are. And it seems
unlikely Working Group members would want to be required to not track if
they somehow learn that certain identifiable requests come from an envi-
ronment (say a University network in a certain IP address range) where
users cannot control their DNT settings because they are overridden. You
would rather want to say you take the header and API information at face
value because you cannot establish "significant likelihood" of anything

Also note that your quote makes user control the defining characteristic
for a user's preference. When a user cannot control the "preference", it
probably isn't their preference, but if they reasonably control it, I am
afraid there is not much of an argument for non-compliance. Today we may
argue about defaults, tomorrow we might argue about nagging warnings,
say "You have not specified your tracking preferences!! [Enable Tracking
Protection] [Dismiss]". Or for that matter, you might say defaults ought
to represent what most people want, and Germans for instance might over-
whelmingly want DNT to be enabled; easy to make a telephone survey that
"shows" this; so it's okay to ship DNT on by default in Germany, right?
I don't think this Working Group is a good place for such discussions.

That of course does not stop anyone from discussing browser user inter-
face issues or preference defaults or other issues with browser vendors
elsewhere, or from proposing changes to this Working Group's deliver-
ables to make them suitable for an environment where DNT:1 is a default.
Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern@hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
Am Badedeich 7 · Telefon: +49(0)160/4415681 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
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Received on Saturday, 2 June 2012 23:08:59 UTC

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