W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-tracking@w3.org > September 2012

Re: Intermediaries interfering with DNT decision making

From: Rob van Eijk <rob@blaeu.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2012 23:03:28 +0200
To: <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-ID: <965819d0cff0f009b499a58346abc5f9@xs4all.nl>
Hi Roy,

>> Or, are you trying to accomplish something else?
(...)
>> You would have to request a change to DNT's semantics that would 
>> allow its tracking expression to not be the user's personal 
>> preference.

 From an EU perspective, the legal analysis of the express flow of IE-10 
at install/update is not part of the scope of the DNT standard. If the 
express flow meets the criteria of consent in the EU, it will be a valid 
expression of user's consent, likewise if it does not meet the criteria 
of consent in the EU, it won't. It is not up to a server to do it's own 
legal assertion of the validity of a user's whishes. My conclusion is, 
that based on the DNT standard alone, it is impossible to claim that 
IE-10 is a non-comliant UA, stemming from a DNT setting that is on by 
default.

The current text was indeed intended for user agents. No disagreement 
there. I propose to extend it to servers as well. In a dialogue there 
are two roles: senders and receivers. User agents and servers switch 
these roles frequently in a dialoque. I do not see a possibility for a 
meaningful DNT dialogue between user agent and server if the server that 
claims to be DNT compliant can drop a DNT signal at will.

An HTTP endpoint must also be held accountable to the DNT signal. I 
think it is important to not loose sight of an important function of 
DNT, which is that DNT is an important technical buildingblock for a 
meaningful DNT dialog between user agent and server. That dialogue 
starts with the expression of a user's personal preference and includes 
the respons on a server without discriminating user agents able to talk 
DNT.

Bottom line is that in my opinion a server must respect the DNT signal, 
if it stems from a user agent capable of talking DNT. Asserting IE-10's 
legal validity of a valid expression of the user's whishes is 
irrelevant.

Rob

Roy T. Fielding schreef op 2012-09-12 21:44:
> On Sep 12, 2012, at 12:06 PM, Rob van Eijk wrote:
>
>>> As I've said multiple times now, if the WG disagrees with the text
>>> in the spec, then the right way to do so is to object to the text
>>> with a specific change proposal, in writing, on what must be 
>>> changed
>>> to resolve that objection.  Nobody has done that.
>>
>> I submitted text already.
>
> Text which has nothing to do with the default issue, but appreciated
> nonetheless.
>
>> 
>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-tracking/2012Sep/0136.html
>>
>> I propose text in the TPE in chapter 3 that is clear enough, for
>> example:
>>
>> "Implementations of HTTP that are not under control of the user,
>> including Web Servers, MUST not drop or modify a tracking 
>> preference".
>
> The current text says
>
>  "Implementations of HTTP that are not under control of the user
>   MUST NOT generate or modify a tracking preference."
>
> I am pretty sure that was intended just for user agents and things
> that might alter the user agent configuration, but I'll have no
> objection to making it similar to the intermediary requirement if
> we make it clear that an HTTP endpoint doesn't have to hold onto its
> messages forever.  In other words, all messages get dropped at the
> conclusion of processing, so please be specific.
>
> Or, are you trying to accomplish something else?
>
> The signal sent by IE 10.0 is not a tracking preference because it
> fails to match the semantics for DNT.  If you want to forbid the way
> that Apache addressed that issue, this change won't accomplish it.
> You would have to request a change to DNT's semantics that would
> allow its tracking expression to not be the user's personal 
> preference.
>
> ....Roy
Received on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 21:03:57 UTC

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