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Re: Intermediaries interfering with DNT decision making

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2012 11:11:51 -0700
Cc: "public-tracking@w3.org protection wg" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-Id: <9ACAD4E2-4744-44E1-A883-783942D3C4FD@gbiv.com>
To: "Grimmelmann, James" <James.Grimmelmann@nyls.edu>
On Sep 10, 2012, at 7:39 PM, Grimmelmann, James wrote:

> [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;

If you think the text is ambiguous, please supply unambiguous text that
is consistent with the WG decision.  Having ambiguous text is a problem
we are supposed to solve.  I don't see any ambiguity there, so don't
expect a proposal from me.

> (2) Creates an obstacle to DNT adoption on the part of servers; and

How?  AFAICT, it is the only thing making it possible to deploy DNT
for Firefox and Safari (and other UAs that implement DNT correctly).

> (3) May cause serious regulatory trouble for server operators who do not realize their installation of Apache deliberately ignores IE 10.

The only regulations I know of in this space are regional, which continue
to apply after the signal is dropped.  In any case, the current compliance
specification already makes all HTTP servers non-compliant with DNT, so
that is not something a server operator can solve without further work
by the server developers or fixes in compliance.

....Roy
Received on Tuesday, 11 September 2012 18:12:14 UTC

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