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Archive issue with the "Web Accessibility Report Tool"

From: Hoylen Sue <hoylen@dstc.edu.au>
Date: 19 Sep 2005 11:43:20 +1000
To: w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <cor7blg7d3.fsf@predator.dstc.edu.au>


I'm from the Australian W3C Office, and I have received a
request from someone to get his name removed from a report
that is in the wai-report-db mail archive [1].

The problem he is having is that a Web search for his name
reveals the WAI repot for his site as a search result --
which can be embarassing for a Web developer.

Firstly, can you accomodate him by doing so (modifying a
page in the email archive)?

Secondly, I think this raises a serious problem with the
"Web Accessibility Report Tool" [2] because it keeps a
permanent record of a site's faults (even long after the
problems have been fixed) and makes it publically available.
Someone could be using the tool during their own testing
phase, to make their own site more accessible (yet it will
keep the bad report around forever).  Someone malicious
could also use it to generate bad publicity about other Web
sites.  In comparison, the W3C HTML validation service does
not keep a record of its results.

One possible option is to make the wai-report-db mail
archive member-only or at least un-indexable by search
engines.  Minimally, there must be a clear disclosure that
using the tool will generate a permanent and
publically-available record of the report (not just an
ephemeral email to the site owner, as the current text
implies).  However, I suspect that the warning would
discourage people from using the tool (I certainly want to
try out the tool, but I certainly don't want a permanent bad
record against my site). So a better solution than the
minimal would be required.

Please consider this issue, and get back to me -- so that I
can respond and reply to that person's request.



[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-report-db/
[2] http://www.w3.org/WAI/report/
______________________________________________ Dr Hoylen Sue
h.sue@dstc.edu.au                    http://www.dstc.edu.au/
DSTC Pty Ltd --- Australian W3C Office       +61 7 3365 4310
Received on Monday, 19 September 2005 01:43:31 UTC

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