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A Contingency Plan for Winding Up the Working Group

From: Jonathan Mayer <jmayer@stanford.edu>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2013 21:19:39 -0700
To: "public-tracking@w3.org Group WG" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-ID: <B975AF684D424D4AA26B32B78224B863@gmail.com>
Colleagues,

We first met to discuss Do Not Track over 2 years ago. We have now held 10 in-person meetings and 78 conference calls. We have exchanged 7,148 emails. And those boggling figures reflect just the official fora.

The group remains at an impasse. We have sharpened issues, and we have made some progress on low-hanging fruit. But we still have not resolved our longstanding key disagreements, including: What information can websites collect, retain, and use? What sorts of user interfaces and defaults are compliant, and can websites ignore noncompliant browsers?

Our Last Call deadline is July 2013. That due date was initially January 2012. Then April 2012. Then June 2012. Then October 2012. We are 18 months behind schedule, with no end in sight.

There must come a stopping point. There must come a time when we agree to disagree. If we cannot reach consensus by next month, I believe we will have arrived at that time.

I would make two proposals for next Wednesday's call. First, that we commit to not punting our July deadline. If we have not attained agreement on Last Call documents, we should wind up the working group. Second, that we begin planning a responsible contingency process for winding up the working group if we miss our deadline.

Let me be clear: I am not proposing that we halt our work. I plan to continue collaborating in good faith right up until our deadline. I remain committed to Do Not Track as a uniform, persistent, easy-to-use, and effective control over collection of a consumer's browsing history. I believe a consensus Do Not Track standard is the best possible outcome for all stakeholders in the web ecosystem. But I also believe prudence dictates some planning for foreseeable alternative outcomes.

Sincerely,
Jonathan

(Speaking only for himself, as usual.)
Received on Friday, 14 June 2013 04:20:04 UTC

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