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

From: Shane Wiley <wileys@yahoo-inc.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2012 20:59:52 -0700
To: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>, "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com>
CC: "public-tracking@w3.org (public-tracking@w3.org)" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-ID: <63294A1959410048A33AEE161379C8023D1878646C@SP2-EX07VS02.ds.corp.yahoo.com>

I appreciate that you, as a site owner, do not want that option to legitimately call out non-compliant UAs to users.  That is your choice as a site owner and you could choose to honor invalid DNT signals.  As W3C standards are voluntary and the goal is typically to develop a standard that is broadly adopted (otherwise why develop a standard in the first place?) then the working group should look to those among us that would actually be implementing the W3C version of a DNT standard at scale to get their perspective.  I believe many of us that represent 3rd parties ourselves or work directly with a large number of 3rd parties the standard is aimed at are telling the working group that we'd like a response code to notify a user that we'll not be honoring DNT signals from non-compliant UAs and provide them with options outside of their current UA to exercise choice.  The continued discussion of possible regulatory compliance is our issue to content with - not the W3C's issue.    

If the TPWG would like to achieve a broadly implemented standard then an invalid UA response code should be added to the TPE.  All debate of whether servers are "appropriately" sending this signal can be held in public view once the standard is implemented in the real world.  Forcing Servers to honor invalid DNT signals will ensure nearly no one ever implements this standard.  If that's the outcome the working group wants then we should stop work on the standard now and save everyone travel budgets on the face-to-face to Seattle (why build something no one will use).  I've yet to hear from a single organization that is the subject of the W3C's version of a DNT standard (a 3rd party - typically an ad network) to say they'd be willing to move forward with this standard if they were forced to honor non-compliant UAs (outside of assuming MSFT :-) ).

If I'm wrong, could a legitimate 3rd party please chime in to tell me so?  If not, could we please add an "invalid UA response code" to the TPE response list ("pending review") and we can move forward to other discussions?

Thank you,

-----Original Message-----
From: Bjoern Hoehrmann [mailto:derhoermi@gmx.net] 
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 10:14 PM
To: Roy T. Fielding
Cc: public-tracking@w3.org (public-tracking@w3.org)
Subject: Re: Today's call: summary on user agent compliance

* Roy T. Fielding wrote:
>I think you are missing the point.  The DNT signals do not matter if
>the UA's implementation is broken.  A site can choose to do anything
>it wants, including denying all service, provided that what it chooses
>to do is consistent with other claims it has made to this user.

I think I understand the point, but as a site owner I do not want the
option to "second-guess" DNT signals, and as a user I do not want any
site to "second-guess" DNT signals I might be sending, within the con-
fines of "conforms to the DNT specifications", including that I do not
want sites to tell me something meaningless like "If you send DNT:1 we
won't track you, unless we think you might not really mean 'DNT:1'".

My concern here is about "authority". If the DNT specifications say the
W3C will publish, say, a list of User-Agent headers that can or must be
used to filter out broken signals, I'll not complain. But if individual
sites get to decide which DNT signals are broken, then I will complain.
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 Wednesday, 13 June 2012 04:00:50 UTC

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