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Re: ISSUE-4 and clarity regarding browser defaults

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2012 14:45:56 -0700
Cc: "public-tracking@w3.org" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-Id: <E43C9616-A1CD-4D99-91CD-FABAEB656D6F@gbiv.com>
To: Rigo Wenning <rigo@w3.org>
On Jun 4, 2012, at 2:10 PM, Rigo Wenning wrote:

> Roy, 
> 
> the text in Aleecia's email and the following thread does not automatically 
> exclude the setting of a default.

Aleecia's text says "If the user has not expressed a privacy preference,
neither the user agent nor any service may send a DNT header on the user’s
behalf. For example, neither a browser nor an ISP may inject “DNT: 1”
on behalf of all of their users who have not selected a choice
corresponding to “DNT: 0”. However, a user may make a choice for
privacy that then implicitly includes a DNT setting."

ISSUE-4 was decided by this WG.  I fail to see how we could interpret
it any other way.

> But your wording does so in a funny 
> coincidence to the excitement about a UA setting a default or sounds at 
> least ambiguous about it. That doesn't mean I'm a fan of setting a default 
> to DNT;1 as it cuts both ways. A browser could ship with default DNT;0 Nor 
> am I a fan of this or that position. I just think that writing this into the 
> Specification is premature and will hinder a good discussion. 

There is nothing coincidental about it.  When Microsoft made its
announcement, I asked people within MS how they could possibly
get that wrong.  The only technical answer I got was that the
existing requirement on determining a user preference was
confusing because it appears in the same paragraph as the
discussion of intermediaries.  That's my fault, due to the
series of edits that occurred after ISSUE-4 was decided,
and is easily fixed by restoring the intent of our decision.

> There are more options on the table than just saying "a default is not an 
> expression of will". IMHO as a WG participant, the ice this assertion is 
> coming on is much too thin to carry a solution capable of providing a remedy 
> to the conflicts we experience. I do not exclude that "a default is not an 
> expression of will" will prevail, but writing it as _the_ solution into the 
> specification is again setting a default for the Group but accordingly to 
> its very paradigm can not be seen as an expression of will of that Group. 
> But it looks a bit that way. And this is why I would like a real discussion 
> before having things patched in a hasty way.

It is not open to discussion.  The only option on the table
is wording consistent with the WG decision on ISSUE-4.

If you have editorial suggestions to make in line with the
decision on ISSUE-4, then I am happy to see them posted to
this list.  If you want to reopen the issue, you know how
that is done.  Meanwhile, the purpose of having an editor
(and not a slave) is to propose wording so that it is
available in time for our next meeting, wherein I assume it
will be verified (or fixed) by the WG to be consistent 
with the decisions made by the WG up to that date.

....Roy
Received on Monday, 4 June 2012 21:46:22 UTC

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