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Re: Stanford study shows that opt-out requests relating to tracking are often ignored

From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2011 22:27:57 +0200
To: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>
Cc: "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <ppb627picgfgggqlt2sc198q4b2udifuks@hive.bjoern.hoehrmann.de>
* Noah Mendelsohn wrote:
>[1] http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/node/6694

Of course; attributing multiple bits of data to a single source is, or
so people think, needed for any number of things. If your business pays
for "person clicks ad" but doesn't want to pay for "same person clicks
on ad again and again within a short period of time" then there are few
options for you: abandon part of the business idea, collect and process
data to "track" "individuals" between "clicks", or hope for magic, like
someone coming up with a fuzzy or zero knowledge system that helps here.

The problem really starts with people thinking web sites they operate
are somehow conceptually different from other facilities they operate.
If you run a fitness studio you probably would not install monitoring
equipment in the shower that sends personally identifiable information
on how people engage with the showering facilities to a third party so
you get shower engagement reports without so much as telling people.

If you run a web site then you probably would install monitoring equip-
ment that sends personally identifiable information on how people engage
with the web site to a third party so you get some fancy charts, without
telling people in your privacy policy. Somehow people tend to think the
data is theirs to do with as they see fit without a need for disclosure.
(For some values of "you"; obviously this is nonsense most places.)

Well, you do get the notion that anything technically possible is fair
game "online" and "offline", but there is a difference in quantity and
in reaction, because people can relate to the physical world better. But
if you start out with such a mindset, and then add a commercial need to
the equation, and possibly even realize that privacy issues make people
uncomfortable, including talking about privacy issues, then you'll have
a hard time dealing with the "no tracking! do not track!!" folks.

Conceptually it might be easier to, as a start, talk about a las vegas
approach to "do not track": what you do in one place stays there and 
will never be associated with what you do in another place. That's hard,
even conceptually, aswell, but at least you would have a notion of what
"tracking" might mean which you lack otherwise...
-- 
Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern@hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
Am Badedeich 7 · Telefon: +49(0)160/4415681 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
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Received on Sunday, 17 July 2011 20:28:03 GMT

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