W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-tracking@w3.org > September 2013

DAA departing & moving forward

From: Lou Mastria <lou@aboutads.info>
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2013 05:17:14 -0400
Message-ID: <-8899333554931225266@unknownmsgid>
To: Jaffe Jeff <jeff@w3.org>, "public-tracking@w3.org (public-tracking@w3.org)" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Dear Mr. Jaffe:


After serious consideration, the leadership of the Digital Advertising
Alliance (DAA) has agreed that the DAA will withdraw from future
participation in the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Tracking Protection
Working Group (TPWG).  After more than two years of good-faith effort and
having contributed significant resources, the DAA no longer believes that
the TPWG is capable of fostering the development of a workable “do not
track” (“dnt”) solution. As we depart W3C and TPWG, DAA will focus its
resources on convening its own forum to evaluate how browser-based signals
can be used meaningfully to address consumer privacy.


During more than two years since the W3C began its attempt at a dnt
standard, the DAA has delivered real tools to millions of consumers. It has
grown participation; enhanced transparency with more than a trillion ad
impressions per month delivered with the DAA’s Icon making notice and
choice information available within one-click of the ad; educated millions
of consumers and provided browser-based persistent plug
ins.<http://www.aboutads.info/PMC>
The DAA has also succeeded in applying its principles to all of the
participants in the digital ecosystem.  Furthermore, we have expanded these
consumer safeguards into 30 countries and clarified how the DAA’s
Principles apply in the mobile Web and app environments.



Going forward, the DAA intends to focus its time and efforts on growing
this already-successful consumer choice program in “desktop,” mobile and
in-app environments. The DAA is confident that such efforts will yield
greater advances in consumer privacy and industry self-regulation than
would its continued participation at the W3C.

Despite extension after extension of its charter year after year by the
W3C, the TPWG has yet to reach agreement on the most elementary and
material issues facing the group.  These open items include fundamental
issues and key definitions that have been discussed by this group since its
inception without reaching consensus, including:

·         Defining a harm or problem it seeks to prevent.

·         Defining the term “tracking”.

·         Identifying limitations on the use of unique identifiers.

·         Determining the effect of user choice.



Concerned about the TPWG’s inability to resolve such basic issues, the
DAA wrote
a letter to you on October 2,
2012<http://www.aboutads.info/blog/press-release-daa-issues-open-letter-w3c-actions-working-group-threaten-ad-supported-internet>,
expressing its strong concern with the W3C’s foray into setting public
policy standards.  In particular, the letter noted that the W3C “has been
designed to build consensus around complex technology issues, not complex
public policy matters.” In response, despite the turmoil evident at that
time, you personally assured us that appropriate procedures and policies
would be applied to the process and the W3C’s retention of Professor Swire
would settle and bring legitimacy to the process.


In the ensuing eight months that led up to the July 2013 deadline imposed
on the TPWG, the DAA worked in good faith with other stakeholders,
supporting proposals consistent with recommendations from the U.S.
Administration and the former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.
Unfortunately, these efforts were rejected out of hand by TPWG co-chair
Peter Swire, who jettisoned the long-accepted W3C procedure in order to
anoint his own path forward.  As others in the working group have
substantiated, as a result of Swire’s actions there is no longer a
legitimate TPWG procedure.  Jonathan Mayer, commenting on the working
process<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-tracking/2013Jul/0601.html>,
stated, “We do not have clear rules of decision.  And even if we were to
have procedural commitments, they could be unilaterally cast aside at any
time. This is not process: this is the absence of process.” Roy T.
Fielding, Senior Principal Scientist at Adobe, highlighted the dictatorial
approach taken by
chairs<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-tracking/2013Jul/0464.html>
who
have eschewed participant input and subrogated participants’ right to vote
on issues.


In recent weeks, you have indicated to TPWG participants that you have no
intent to revisit acts or processes (or the lack thereof) that occurred
leading up to July 2013, and instead plan to move forward.  However, it is
not possible to move forward without an accounting for the previous
flagrant disregard for procedure.


Today, parties on all sides agree that the TPWG is not a sensible use of
W3C resources and that the process will not lead to a workable result.  For
example, Jonathan Mayer, in his recent letter of resignation from the TPWG,
stated<http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-tracking/2013Jul/0601.html>:
“Given the lack of a viable path to consensus, I can no longer justify the
substantial time, travel, and effort associated with continuing in the
Working Group.” John Simpson, the director of the Consumer Watchdog’s
privacy project, commented on the news of the departure of TPWG co-chairman
Professor Swire<http://www.law360.com/privacy/articles/468512?nl_pk=0c277e2d-1bd7-44e8-80c2-e6cfa8deb42a&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=privacy>:
“Peter Swire gave it a good shot, but I don’t think that he or anybody can
get this group to a general consensus.” These participants and others who
previously supported the TPWG now conclude that the process has devolved
into an exercise in frustration on all sides without any meaningful
increase in consumer choice or transparency.


The DAA agrees with these parties on this matter. Therefore, rather than
continue to work in a forum that has failed, we intend to commit our
resources and time in participating in efforts that can achieve results
while enhancing the consumer digital experience. The DAA will immediately
convene a process to evaluate how browser-based signals can be used to
meaningfully address consumer privacy. The DAA looks forward to working
with browsers, consumer groups, advertisers, marketers, agencies, and
technologists. This DAA-led process will be a more practical use of our
resources than to continue to participate at the W3C.


With the departure of the latest TPWG co-chair as well as a key staff
member, and no definitive process to move forward, the DAA recommends that
that the W3C should not attempt to resurrect a process that has clearly
reached the end of its useful life.


The DAA will continue to move forward in its own area of expertise,
advancing consumer control, transparency, and other critical practices
through its own program.


Best,

Lou Mastria
P:+1 347 770 0322
E: Lou@AboutAds.info
Twitter: @lmastria / @daausa

Did you know that DAA released new mobile guidance?

Get the PDF here: http://bit.ly/DAAMobile
Received on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 09:17:43 UTC

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