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Feedback on Proposed Plan from IAB, DAA, DMA and NAI

From: Chris Mejia <chris.mejia@iab.net>
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2013 22:31:10 +0000
To: W3C DNT Working Group Mailing List <public-tracking@w3.org>, "Matthias Schunter - WC3 WG Co-Chair" <mts-std@schunter.org>, Jeff Jaffe - W3C <jeff@w3.org>, "Nicholas \"Nick\" Doty - W3C" <npdoty@w3.org>, "Thomas Roessler - W3C" <tlr@w3.org>
CC: Chris Mejia <chris.mejia@iab.net>, Lou Mastria - DAA <lou@aboutads.info>, Mike Zaneis <mike@iab.net>, Marc Groman - NAI <mgroman@networkadvertising.org>, Jack Hobaugh - NAI <jack@networkadvertising.org>, Rachel Thomas - DMA <RThomas@the-dma.org>
Message-ID: <CE58D828.3A07F%chris.mejia@iab.net>
Dear TPWG Chair, W3C Staff, and fellow TPWG Members,

In accordance with the September 13th deadline for feedback on "the proposed plan", I respectfully provide the following feedback on the proposed plan and process:

IAB, DAA, DMA, and NAI incorporates by reference, their objections submitted on July 12, 2013.  See http://www.w3.org/2002/09/wbs/49311/datahygiene/results.

In addition to renewing their objections to the use of the Editors' draft as the basis for moving forward, IAB, DAA, DMA, and NAI also respectfully submit the following feedback in opposition to proceeding with the proposed plan:


1.       Genuine Working Group consensus cannot be achieved through the proposed plan and it remains entirely unclear what "consensus" means or how it is reached.

The W3C contends that "[t]he Editors' Draft (based on the June draft) represents the most promising path toward consensus of the Working Group on the Tracking Compliance document."  (Sep. 3, 2013 email from M. Schunter to public-tracking@w3.org<mailto:public-tracking@w3.org>).  But it is clear from the TPWG's unsuccessful efforts in June and July to reach consensus with the June draft that the June draft does not present a viable document from which to reach consensus.  Although the term consensus is often used, it is unclear as to exactly what that term means or what is actually required to reach consensus.  In conjunction with moving forward with a document that cannot create consensus, the W3C has also expressed its intention to close one issue per week starting in October.  Id.  "If there is no consensus, then the Chairs will issue a Call for Objections.  In this case, the resolution will be based on the Chairs' assessment of the relative strength of the arguments.  Working Group decisions made through a Call for Objections are also documented in a revision of the Editors' Draft."  Id.  This process of arbitrary decision making will likely create a disjointed patch-work document that would be neither the product of the working group nor a cohesive compliance document that could be adopted.  Mr. Fielding, who has significant W3C experience, has expressed similar concerns with the co-chairs taking over the decision making process for the working group:

<fielding> In general, W3C staff have often (over 15+ years) made the mistake that they can speed the process of a working group by making decisions for the WG in the form of "simplifying". In all such cases, the WG derails ... making decisions for the WG means that there is no reason to have a WG, since you aren't letting us make the decisions that matter. Hence, in the future, stop trying to wag the dog -- let the group make its own decisions and act as a facilitator,
<fielding> not a judge.

Found at http://www.w3.org/2013/09/04-dnt-minutes.


2.       The Due Dates suggest that the Poll is an exercise in futility.

Because the W3C is proceeding with Option 1 prior to the opening of the poll to discuss other options, it is apparent that the W3C is intent on moving forward with the proposed plan regardless of the outcome of the Poll.  "The clear recommendation from the Chair/Staff is to make progress with Options 1 or 2."   (Sep. 3, 2013 email from M. Schunter to public-tracking@w3.org<mailto:public-tracking@w3.org>).  We note that Option 2 only pushes out the hard issues to a later version of the standard.  Unfortunately, the hard issues, those that cannot find consensus, are at the heart of the standard itself.  Indeed, the W3C has suggested that the technology is not ready for a DNT standard: "Thus, we are focused on the appropriate DNT solution for release in 2013-14 which we call DNT 1.0.  As technology and user references evolve, we fully expect that there will be further releases that address scenarios that are not well addressed today."   (Sep. 3, 2013 email from M. Schunter to public-tracking@w3.org<mailto:public-tracking@w3.org>)(emphasis added).  DAA, IAB, NAI, ANA, AAAA, DMA object to the W3C's approach of moving forward before the analysis of the poll results.


3.       Move the issue closing process to one based on membership voting. This would fast track the process and could still allow for a formal objection process to follow. This mirrors the escalation structure to ACRs and has been discussed in the past.  This process would be limited to W3C membership as they represent actual implementers of standards.


4.       Consensus and decision-making

o   What exactly is the standard for consensus?

o   If the standard is "least strong objections," then please clarify what this means? Does it mean least strong substantively, or least strong in terms of the vigor of  the objection, e.g. "my business will be killed by this and I can't live with it!"

o   Whose opinions count in weighing consensus, e.g. invited experts or multiple reps from a single organization?



5.       Participation

a.       Who is an invited expert and how are they chosen?

b.      Third parties are the primary target of this standard, and the companies likely to be most impacted economically. Why are so few   represented directly in the working group, and what will be done to increase their participation?

c. Understanding that there should be a periodic review of invited experts per W3C rules (http://www.w3.org/2004/08/invexp "Principles Guiding Invitations and Periodic Review"), can you please disclose when such reviews have occurred, if ever, on which invited experts, the  determination of those reviews, and the rationale used for such determination?  If no such review has been conducted, can you please supply the rationale for not conducting the reviews and indicate when such reviews will take place?

d. In our opinion, most of the "invited experts" represent organizations "which have significant business interest in the results from W3C" noting that the W3C rules themselves state "this might even include some not-for-profit organizations."

e. At least two invited experts have submitted their formal resignation from the working group, but have not yet been removed from the TPWG official roster.


6.       Charter

a.       What is the meaning of "The Working Group will not design mechanisms for the expression of complex or general-purpose policy statements."

b.      What is the intent of this limitation?

c.       What is the meaning of "The group will actively engage governmental, industry, academic and advocacy organizations to seek global consensus definitions and codes of conduct."

d.      See participation above. What has the group done to ensure active engagement with /all/ relevant stakeholders, especially those who will likely be most impacted by this standard?



7.       What are the criteria and milestones for continuing or winding down the group, if progress is not made?



8.       W3C process requires an implementation and testing phase. How will this apply to the compliance specification? Can elements of the compliance spec become "features at risk"? What about crucial elements of the technical spec that are closely coupled with the policy?


9.       Provide detailed timelines and decision criteria for each Formal Objection being considered prior to requesting WG input.



10.   More firmly state within the updated plan that driving towards a standard that will achieve broad industry adoption is a core goal (otherwise, why are we here?).


11.   We need clear criteria for reopening issues. The "new information" standard is overly vague and inconsistently applied.



12.   We need assurances about the process for closing issues, including addressing the problem of having to continually raise and re-raise issues. We need a predictable, rational process for bringing issues to close.



13.   What is the status of the global considerations effort?


14.   Who is the new co-chair? It is impossible to express our faith or lack of it in the poll without knowing who will co-lead the group going forward.


15.   What is the status of FTC participation, and who is speaking for the FTC? Is Ed Felton speaking for FTC? Or Paul Ohm?



16.   What is the status of the PAG?


Respectfully submitted on 9/13/2013, on behalf of the DAA, IAB, NAI and DMA,

Chris Mejia, DAA & IAB



From: Matthias Schunter - WC3 WG Co-Chair <mts-std@schunter.org<mailto:mts-std@schunter.org>>
Date: Thursday, September 5, 2013 11:38 PM
To: W3C DNT Working Group Mailing List <public-tracking@w3.org<mailto:public-tracking@w3.org>>
Subject: Important Dates (updated, V03)
Resent-From: W3C DNT Working Group Mailing List <public-tracking@w3.org<mailto:public-tracking@w3.org>>
Resent-Date: Thursday, September 5, 2013 11:39 PM

Hi Team,

I now realized that it is wiser to open the poll after announcing the final plan.
I thus shifted the opening to Sept 19 and added an "important date" (for me) to publish the plan on Sept 18.

Regards,
matthias


    September 13: Deadline for feedback on the proposed plan
    September 18 (new): Revised plan is announced
    September 18 (updated): Poll opens
    October 02: Issue Freeze: Issues raised after October 02 will be deferred to be addressed after Last Call.
     October 09: The poll closes; chairs and team assess responses.
Received on Friday, 13 September 2013 22:32:28 UTC

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