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RE: [ISSUE-5] What is the definition of tracking?

From: Chris Pedigo <CPedigo@online-publishers.org>
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2012 15:17:39 +0000
To: JC Cannon <jccannon@microsoft.com>, "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com>, Jonathan Mayer <jmayer@stanford.edu>
CC: Tracking Protection Working Group WG <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CEED5B1AC4405240B53E0330753999D30101337F@mbx023-e1-nj-8.exch023.domain.local>
I agree completely.  There is a fundamental difference between first parties collecting data from a returning visitor and third parties collecting data on users over multiple sites.  Different usages for that data, different business models, different levels of fundamental choices available for the users.  

That said, I'm not sure it's worth having this debate.  For one thing, I don't know if we'll ever agree on a definition.  But, more importantly, these issues come into play when drafting the specs of the standard, so we'll just be re-hashing it all over again anyway.

-----Original Message-----
From: JC Cannon [mailto:jccannon@microsoft.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2012 9:39 AM
To: Roy T. Fielding; Jonathan Mayer
Cc: Tracking Protection Working Group WG
Subject: RE: [ISSUE-5] What is the definition of tracking?

Why are we including returning to the same site as tracking? Firstly, I thought that first-party sites were excluded from DNT obligations other than sharing with third parties. Secondly, it's the user that choses to go to the site so how is that tracking? Without understanding its customers how can companies improve their sites?

I would prefer to see us focus on the cross-site aspects of tracking that concerns most people.

Thanks,
JC

-----Original Message-----
From: Roy T. Fielding [mailto:fielding@gbiv.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2012 6:31 AM
To: Jonathan Mayer
Cc: Tracking Protection Working Group WG
Subject: Re: [ISSUE-5] What is the definition of tracking?

On Mar 7, 2012, at 5:54 AM, Jonathan Mayer wrote:

> Roy,
> 
> Clarifying question. Does your proposal prohibit:

> 1) *collecting* information that *could be* used for correlation of 
> browsing activity,

By *collecting*, I assume you mean "receiving in the request".

Not directly. It prevents use of what is collected for tracking, correlation, or combining of data and it prevents assigning an identifier for future tracking, except as stated for the limited exemptions in compliance, first-party service, and stuff that has prior consent.

> 2) *collecting* information that *is* used for correlation of browsing 
> activity, or

It prohibits use or retention for correlation when DNT is on, yes, except as stated for the limited exemptions in compliance, first-party service, and stuff that has prior consent.

> 3) *using* information to correlate browsing activity?

Yes, when DNT is on there is no correlation allowed.

> My initial read was #1.  But on a re-read and in follow-on discussion, there seem to be suggestions of #2 and #3.

Note that there is very little that the server can do about receiving data other than not causing it to be set on prior requests.  The client can, of course, clear their cookies or enable private browsing after turning on DNT, if that is a concern.

....Roy
Received on Wednesday, 7 March 2012 15:18:11 UTC

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