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Defining Issue-5: What is tracking?

From: John Simpson <john@consumerwatchdog.org>
Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2012 16:10:26 -0700
Message-Id: <7EC60392-E599-4169-BD6B-2EE45D069445@consumerwatchdog.org>
To: "public-tracking@w3.org (public-tracking@w3.org)" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Colleagues,

As many of you may have seen, I've been up all night for the past two days following the "discussions" in Amsterdam making a nuisance of myself on IRC asking people to remember to speak into the microphone.  I've repeatedly heard calls for definitions, particularly that of "tracking."

I have long held the view that one is not necessary for the spec; you need only spell out how to send the DNT header and what your obligations are when you get one. However, in the spirit of a genuine desire to move toward consensus I recently offered a definition on the list.  So far only Roy Fielding, another one of us participating from afar, responded. Here is what I proposed:

"Tracking is the collection and correlation of data about the Internet activities of a particular user, computer, or device, over time and across a website or websites."

Here is a link to the email chain: http://www.w3.org/2011/tracking-protection/track/issues/5

May I suggest that those who have repeatedly been calling for a definition now offer one?  Otherwise I would sadly reach the conclusion that such calls are nothing but deliberate attempts to stall the process and undermine the Working Group's efforts.

As ever,
John

----------
John M. Simpson
Consumer Advocate
Consumer Watchdog
2701 Ocean Park Blvd., Suite 112
Santa Monica, CA,90405
Tel: 310-392-7041
Cell: 310-292-1902
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john@consumerwatchdog.org
Received on Thursday, 4 October 2012 23:10:26 UTC

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