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Re: Intermediaries interfering with DNT decision making

From: Grimmelmann, James <James.Grimmelmann@nyls.edu>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2012 02:39:32 +0000
To: "public-tracking@w3.org protection wg" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-ID: <05B8EFF4-05D7-40F4-967F-E4AB7DBAB9CF@nyls.edu>
[I previously sent this from the wrong email address.  My apologies.]

This is not an issue on which the Working Group should have a position.  Apache in the abstract is neither compliant nor noncompliant with the standard.  What matters is only what servers receiving and responding to DNT requests actually _do_.   

Server software is not an "intermediary."  It is under the control of the server operator, who takes responsibility for its actions.

That said, this change is harmful to the adoption process for Do Not Track, because it:
(1) Treats the text of the TPE spec as unambiguous on an issue where it is highly ambiguous;
(2) Creates an obstacle to DNT adoption on the part of servers; and
(3) May cause serious regulatory trouble for server operators who do not realize their installation of Apache deliberately ignores IE 10.

James

On Sep 10, 2012, at 2:02 PM, Tamir Israel <tisrael@cippic.ca> wrote:

> I'm wondering to what extent we think it is ok for what is essentially an intermediary (in this case, server software) to impose default  responses to DNT signals onto servers?
> 
> http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57508351-93/apache-web-software-overrides-ie10-do-not-track-setting/
> 
> Best,
> Tamir
> 
> -- 
> 
> Tamir Israel
> Staff Lawyer
> 
> Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic
> University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, CML Section
> 57 Louis Pasteur Street
> Ottawa, ON, K1N 6N5
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> <jbbdeiac.png>     Do you really need to print this email? / Est-ce nécessaire d’imprimer ce courriel? 
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> 

--------------------------------------------------
James Grimmelmann   	          Professor of Law
New York Law School                 (212) 431-2864
185 West Broadway       james.grimmelmann@nyls.edu
New York, NY 10013    http://james.grimmelmann.net
Received on Tuesday, 11 September 2012 02:40:37 UTC

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