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

From: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2012 12:20:52 -0700
Message-id: <9E5221E1-CABA-4738-BEF0-F19721AA484C@apple.com>
To: "public-tracking@w3.org protection wg" <public-tracking@w3.org>

On Jun 5, 2012, at 8:53 , Dobbs, Brooks wrote:

> Hi Rigo,
> So a little follow-up:
>> Rob (Article 29 WP) suggested to have a selection screen at first
>> startup. After all the noise about the defaults, can we assume that
>> using a certain browser means sending DNT;1?
> No. We can't.  This is the same point I raised with Justin.  With no
> disrespect to the hard work this group does, DNT really just isn't top of
> mind share for Joe Consumer and is exceedingly unlikely to be the primary
> motivation for choosing a browser and/or reflect his/her personal preference
> on DNT.  Realistically would anyone ever choose browser A over 3 primary
> competitors because it had DNT by default where the others made me go
> through Preferences->Privacy->DNT?  Doesn't it generally take more than 3
> clicks to install/switch to a new browser?

I don't want to defend on-by-default in general, but I do think Roy's example of browsers that are specifically marketed as being 'privacy enhanced' is not a complete fantasy.  I think it quite possible someone will write and market such a browser, which takes various measures to enhance privacy, such as reducing fingerprinting capability, turning on DNT, using HTTPS whenever possible, being careful with traces kept locally (e..g history lists), maybe even using TOR when using a service that might records history, and so on.

So, I think the compromise position we reached is a good one (that admits this possibility in special-purpose browsers), and I don't think the existence of a product that steps outside that compromise should make us revisit it.

David Singer
Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.
Received on Tuesday, 5 June 2012 20:24:43 UTC

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