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Re: Today's call: summary on user agent compliance

From: イアンフェッティ <ifette@google.com>
Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2012 00:53:42 -0700
Message-ID: <CAF4kx8c2jYYXQxv7=Ag9Z69woe0AFnMdiG_Mfd1Kaz3OHD-Bnw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Jonathan Mayer <jmayer@stanford.edu>
Cc: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>, Rigo Wenning <rigo@w3.org>, David Singer <singer@apple.com>, "public-tracking@w3.org (public-tracking@w3.org)" <public-tracking@w3.org>

I don't believe I said anything about third party websites renegotiating
the DNT standard. From the beginning, I thought everyone understood that no
one could force a website to implement DNT. Indeed, throughout the process
I've tried to point out things that I thought would make it difficult for a
site to implement DNT and suggest changes that I thought might make DNT
adoption more straightforward and thus more likely for a broader swath of
website operators. I think where we might be differing is that you view
that if a website chooses to do anything with DNT, it must fully adopt DNT
for all users and adhere strictly to the DNT spec. In reality, what we
often see is that people pick and choose what portions of a spec they will
implement, for better or worse (both in the browser and on the server). I'm
trying to take a pragmatic view here, and merely ask the question "If a
website chooses to implement DNT for a subset of users, what is the best
way for the website to signal that." You imply the website shouldn't have
that option, I'm taking the view that I think it's entirely possible a
website may do that anyways regardless of your view that it should not, and
asking "given that, what's the best outcome?".

I don't think there's a question of "If you claim you're going to do
something you should do it." The question is "If what you claim is that you
will comply with DNT only in certain circumstances, what is the best way to
make those circumstances clear such that users are not mislead into
thinking you're doing something that you're not."

Concretely, a company could claim "We will honor DNT when it's coming from
the following user agents" or "We will honor DNT from all user agents
except for the following". Assuming the company follows through on that
claim, it's not clear to me where you believe the misrepresentation is
coming from, but I'm not a lawyer so I won't get into that here. Instead,
the question I'm asking is, in either case, there are users that the
company is explicitly not claiming to support, how should that be made
apparent to the user so that they are not misled?


On Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 10:05 PM, Jonathan Mayer <jmayer@stanford.edu> wrote:

> Ian,
> I'm gravely disappointed to hear you expressing the view, one year into
> this process, that third-party websites might just unilaterally renegotiate
> the W3C's Do Not Track standard post-ratification.  That cuts against the
> cooperative spirit of these productive discussions, and I trust it is not
> Google's position.
> At any rate, I believe your view is misguided.  Third-party websites are,
> to be sure, under no binding obligation to comply with the W3C's Do Not
> Track standard.  But there are myriad reasons for companies to comply with
> the W3C specification, including growing pressures from users,
> policymakers, and the media.  Moreover, if a company claims to support Do
> Not Track and it doesn't, it'll have to deal with the Federal Trade
> Commission and other law enforcement agencies.  I should hope Google in
> particular appreciates the ramifications of incorrectly claiming to comply
> with a browser's default privacy setting.  It's no coincidence that
> industry participants in the working group have a strong preference to
> develop consensus on this issue.
> Jonathan
> On Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 9:25 PM, Ian Fette (イアンフェッティ) wrote:
> A site is already under no obligation to conform to DNT. Would you rather
> have the user be clear that their request is being ignored, or left to
> wonder?
> -Ian
> On Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 6:10 PM, Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>wrote:
> * Rigo Wenning wrote:
> >[...]
> Are you proposing that saying "I ignore your tracking preferences" is
> all it should take to conform to the DNT specifications?
> --
> Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern@hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
> Am Badedeich 7 · Telefon: +49(0)160/4415681 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
> 25899 Dagebüll · PGP Pub. KeyID: 0xA4357E78 · http://www.websitedev.de/
Received on Friday, 8 June 2012 07:54:12 UTC

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