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Re: accessible banking:

From: Kelly Pierce <kpierce2000@earthlink.net>
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2005 01:26:51 -0600
Message-ID: <007701c50a8a$e5b3d620$0b0110ac@Kelly>
To: "John Foliot - WATS.ca" <foliot@wats.ca>, "'wai-ig list'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

From: "John Foliot - WATS.ca" <foliot@wats.ca>
To: "'Kelly Pierce'" <kpierce2000@earthlink.net>; "'wai-ig list'" 
Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2005 8:12 AM
Subject: RE: accessible banking:

> the person's "choice" is
> only relevant
> when the provided communication is not effective, such as providing a
> Braille document to a person who doesn't read Braille and
> wants information
> in an audio recording.

Fair enough.  Using this argument, I counter with the fact that a US Federal
Agency has warned that a particular piece of software is not secure -
in-effective as it were - and recommend using an alternative.  Is this not
relevant?  The website in question is giving me "Internet Explorer
exclusive" web services, and my browser doesn't "read" Internet Explorer
material (figuratively speaking).  So, as a consumer with equal rights, I
would want my services material in a format that I use (Firefox services
material). (Is this not the same as me not reading Braille, and wanting an
audio recording?)

**No it is not relevant.  I believe the court would view your decision as a 
choice or a preference rather than a necessity, as evinced by the billions 
of transactions still conducted each month by internet Explorer and the 
continued widespread use in state, local, and federal agencies, including 
law enforcement and public safety organizations.  yes, fatherland security 
has raised this concern.  if everyone acted on all of the warnings and 
advisories, commerce and transportation (the movement of goods and people) 
would effectively screech to a halt and most economic activity would cease. 
Already, one directive has been repealed, which directed added scrutiny of 
women boarding commercial aircraft.  women protested as they were forced to 
remove blouses and agents searched underneath bra straps and between breasts 
for explosive devices similar to those suspected on two exploded Russian 
aircraft.  I guess we now add full pat down airport searches to the long 
list of things Americans should do to protect themselves but are not doing. 
these include searching all cargo containers, searching all vehicles 
entering tunnels for explosives, randomly sweep commuter trains and subway 
cars for explosives, and of course abandon use of internet Explorer, a 
program produced by the world's largest software company and used on nearly 
all computers.

Kelly, your reply has also conveniently side-stepped my argument and analogy
of automobiles and gasoline.  The local [pick your merchant] gas bar
provides gasoline to consumers.  By law, they cannot discriminate by selling
their product to only one particular sub-set of consumers (American
automobiles); they must, by law, sell their gasoline to all owners of
automobiles.  Period.  If your automobile uses only "foobar fuel", and that
merchant does not sell "foobar fuel", well, no harm, no foul... They don't
sell it to *any* consumer.  But at the end of the day, if they did sell
"foobar fuel", and an automobile arrived at the station to purchase "foobar
fuel", they could not turn it away: the car burns "foobar fuel".

**I didn't comment because the argument from this example was originally 
couched in terms of security.  I responded to that issue.  then, the issue 
was re-framed to give cars an ethnic identity and by extension civil rights 
protection.  john, cars don't have human rights, people do.

A bank provides on-line services.  I have a perfectly capable, modern (some
would say State-of-the-Art), standards compliant browser which I wish to use
to interact with the internet.  The bank in question does not provide
"Internet Explorer" banking, but on-line banking.  By refusing to service my
browser, they are discriminating against me.

**They are indeed.  Being discriminating about services and product 
offerings are hallmarks of great businesses.  As mentioned earlier it is not 
a human rights violation.

Regardless of the geographic region, it has been conclusively proven that
e-commerce/e-banking can be safely and securely [1] conducted in *any
browser* that supports a minimum feature set (i.e. SSL).  That a particular
bank insists that only *one* particular piece of software be used when it
can be shown that any number of alternatives provide, (under normal
circumstances and in similar scenarios) equivalent functionality is at it's
base (and I will state, In My Humble Opinion) discriminatory.

**Indeed it is to firefox users but not to people with disabilities.

I come back to my original question.  Can the bank, (or anybody on this
list) demonstrate conclusively why the institution *cannot* make their site
accessible to other browsers?  It would seem to me that the burden of proof
rests with the bank, not the complainant (but I'm no lawyer...)

**they can indeed make their site usable with other browsers but the likely 
claim is that IE is effective communication so the burden then shifts to the 
claimant to show that IE is not effective.

Received on Friday, 4 February 2005 07:26:53 UTC

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