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

From: Shane Wiley <wileys@yahoo-inc.com>
Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2012 13:12:02 -0700
To: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>, "ifette@google.com" <ifette@google.com>
CC: "public-tracking@w3.org (public-tracking@w3.org)" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-ID: <63294A1959410048A33AEE161379C8023D185908F2@SP2-EX07VS02.ds.corp.yahoo.com>
Bjoern,

That is the sticking point here.  The standard is voluntary but we still want a large majority of 3rd parties to implement DNT.  If we require that supporting W3C DNT also requires accepting non-compliant UA signals, I can't see a reason why many, if any, 3rd parties would implement.  If we're setting up a "failed start", then I'm at a loss for our path as a Working Group.

- Shane 

-----Original Message-----
From: Bjoern Hoehrmann [mailto:derhoermi@gmx.net] 
Sent: Friday, June 08, 2012 12:56 PM
To: ifette@google.com
Cc: public-tracking@w3.org (public-tracking@w3.org)
Subject: Re: Today's call: summary on user agent compliance

* Ian Fette 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?

You are mistaken. Sites are under no obligation to claim they conform to
the DNT specifications, but if they choose to claim they do, then they
most certainly are under obligations to conform to the specifications. 
That's the whole point: the DNT specifications define who or what can
make conformance claims, and what obligations are incurred when they do.

If you go into a paper shop and ask for 500 ISO A4 sheets of paper, and
they do not have ISO A4 paper, but they stick a ISO A4 label on some US
Letter sheets, and assure you that they are really ISO A4 sized, and you
go home and find they aren't ISO A4, you won't say "I should have known
the shop is under no obligation to sell A4 paper, and I am better off
with US Letter size paper than no paper." At least I would hope so.

The Working Group may of course decide to have many classes and levels
of conformance, let's say "DNT Platinum" sites only have first party re-
sources, do not share any data, do not log identifiable data, and "DNT
Tomato" sites just tell you that you are tracked whatever your prefer-
ence is; or it could set up a "OS and Web Browser DNT UX Certification"
browser conformance level and program that makes sure it's difficult e-
nough to turn on DNT:1, with a corresponding conformance level for sites
where they ignore DNT signals from non-certified user agents, and so on.

Similarily, the Working Group might decide that "site" is not the right
scope, and instead have separate classes for "ad networks" and "weather
widgets" and whatever else, as it sees fit, but there is no basis for
"you don't have to claim conformance, so you when you claim conformance
you don't have to implement all applicable MUSTs"-style arguments.

As for the specific feature you propose above, I see no reason to have
features to make negative conformance claims; it's much better to infer
likely non-conformance from the absence of positive conformance claims.
If usability studies have shown the mere claim "I ignore DNT signals" is
useful to normal users, then I would suggest to make that a conformance
level if people expect great interest in this on part of site owners.
-- 
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 20:12:45 UTC

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