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RE: ISSUE-45 ACTION-246: draft proposal regarding making a public compliance commitment

From: Shane Wiley <wileys@yahoo-inc.com>
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2012 09:06:53 -0700
To: "Aleecia M. McDonald" <aleecia@aleecia.com>, "public-tracking@w3.org (public-tracking@w3.org)" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-ID: <63294A1959410048A33AEE161379C8026207179549@SP2-EX07VS02.ds.corp.yahoo.com>
Aleecia,

I believe this proposal and the strong support within IRC during the working group call would officially declare this as NOT a dead end.  It would be helpful to gauge the working group as I believe you'll find considerable support for a compliance flag within the well-known location resource.

- Shane

From: Aleecia M. McDonald [mailto:aleecia@aleecia.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2012 9:00 AM
To: public-tracking@w3.org (public-tracking@w3.org)
Subject: Re: ISSUE-45 ACTION-246: draft proposal regarding making a public compliance commitment

Of note: in Seattle, we discussed the possibility of having multiple codes to indicate different flavors of DNT. Specifically, I raised it as a suggestion. The WG members soundly rejected, in favor of coming to a common single understanding of DNT. We have already declared this a dead end.

One can imagine a world with, say, a DAA approach and a W3C approach, without needing a new flag sent with every response. Just pick different semantics. It will be very clear which is what, without the overhead. If that is the problem you are trying to solve, I think it is already solved without needing any work here.

If we take this just as being about different regions, I'm not sure what a USA or NLD designation entails. And I'm not sure how to convey that to users. I think I do not understand what you have in mind yet. I look forward to hearing more about how you think that could work.

            Aleecia

On Sep 4, 2012, at 5:51 PM, David Wainberg <david@networkadvertising.org<mailto:david@networkadvertising.org>> wrote:


This fulfills ACTION-246 (http://www.w3.org/2011/tracking-protection/track/actions/246), which relates to ISSUE-45 (http://www.w3.org/2011/tracking-protection/track/issues/45).

There are problems with the current proposed approach to issue 45. The current version does not accommodate implementation distinctions based on, for example, geography/jurisdiction, business model, or technology. It also creates unnecessary and counter-productive legal landmines that will spur companies to avoid implementing the full spec. We can provide for making legal commitments without this unwanted result.

I think the first point should be obvious. There will be a tremendous diversity of organizations, business models, and technologies to which DNT may be applied, either voluntarily or compulsorily, under a diversity of regulatory regimes. The spec needs to accommodate this diversity.

The more important point is that, if we make the mistake of tying the server response (the header or WKL) to a broad, legally-binding representation that goes well beyond the specific meanings of the responses, end-users will lose out because companies will avoid implementing the response mechanisms. The reality is that companies who may otherwise be eager to implement DNT will avoid making representations that could be construed in overly broad ways, that may be ambiguous, or that otherwise are potentially misaligned with what they do. Instead, companies will seek to make representations that unambiguously describe their practices. We should facilitate this, not make it difficult.

Note that I am definitely not saying that companies should be able to act contrary to what they represent in the response mechanism(s). That, however, is not a problem we need to solve. Companies will be held to account for any such misrepresentations anyway, regardless of what the spec says. And if the available responses are sufficiently precise and adequately defined, I think companies will implement them.

This proposal solves both problems. It will provide for the enforceable statement that the working group is aiming for, but it will also allow needed flexibility for servers operating under various regulatory regimes, and would do so especially for servers operating under multiple regulatory regimes. And, most important, it would create a mechanism whereby companies can clearly and accurately say what they do and then do what they say.

The proposal is the following:

 *   The compliance spec remains silent on the matter
 *   Add a required "compliance" field to the tracking status resource in the TPE, where the value indicates the compliance regime under which the server is honoring the DNT signal.
 *   The value of the compliance field is a 3-5 letter token indicating the applicable regulatory regime. Allowed tokens could include 3-letter country codes, e.g. USA, GBR, NLD, or designations for voluntary regimes, e.g. W3C, DAA, NAI, IABEU. My understanding is that an organization like IANA can manage a list of tokens in order to prevent collisions.
Received on Wednesday, 5 September 2012 16:07:36 UTC

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