W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-tracking@w3.org > June 2012

Re: ISSUE-4 and clarity regarding browser defaults

From: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2012 16:46:03 -0700
Cc: "public-tracking@w3.org" <public-tracking@w3.org>, "mts-std@schunter.org" <mts-std@schunter.org>, "fielding@gbiv.com" <fielding@gbiv.com>, "rigo@w3.org" <rigo@w3.org>
Message-id: <06760FFA-B922-41CF-896A-BF1A0B29F5C8@apple.com>
To: Kevin Kiley <kevin.kiley@3pmobile.com>

On Jun 19, 2012, at 12:35 , Kevin Kiley wrote:

> > matthias wrote...
> > 
> > Hi Rigo,
> > …
> > …
> > Since I believe that we all agree that a default can be an expression of
> > preference (e.g., if I install a privacy-enhanced browser that is
> > permitted to ship with DNT;1 as default), feel free to indicate text
> > updates to clarify the text to fully communicate this agreement.
> There is no other way to look at this.

Indeed, we had a compromise here:

* there may be some User Agents that are specifically made and marketed as being privacy-enhancing, and they could indeed have a default (and maybe they use Tor, reduce fingerprinting, and so on)
* there may be some Sites that are specifically for the purpose of tracking ('TrackMyReading.com') where signing up for the site implies out-of-band permission to track.

General-purpose UAs cannot claim to be the first; and general-purpose sites cannot claim to be the second.  They both need to take extra steps (to allow the user to turn on DNT, or to ask the user for an exception).

This is a balance, and a compromise; if we discard one, we should discard the other.  The text currently in the TPE I believe respects both.  We should probably critique what is actually written...

> WHO will be making the decisions about which 'Browsers' qualify for
> paragraph one (above) and which ones do not?

Society as a whole.  Everyone is free to criticize or admonish UAs or sites that claim this when it is not justified.

> Also… regarding paragraph two (above)… to what lengths must an 'antivirus' or
> 'privacy protection' tool go to in order to achieve the 'accepted' 'moment of choice'?

Is privacy their primary purpose or design criteria?

> What if a standard antivirus/protection tool simply has the following install options…
> [_] Enable ALL protections
> [_] Customize
> If the 'Enable ALL' option simply INCLUDES setting DNT=1 as a 'default'…. does
> this qualify ( as far as the TPWG is concerned ) as a valid 'User choice'… or would
> the tool have to specifically mention DNT and get specific approval for that one
> protection item in order to be considered 'complaint' with the (DNT) spec?

We'll spend the rest of our lives on questions like this if we start trying to answer them!  The number of 'close to the line' questions is, for all practical purposes, infinite!


David Singer
Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.
Received on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 23:46:34 UTC

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