Re: W3C Community Group comments

On 20/12/11 07:45, John Simpson wrote:
> From a U.S. legal perspective, the vast majority of what users do
> online is quintessential First Amendment behavioróreading, writing,
> speaking, and associating with others.  Such First Amendment activity
> enjoys significant constitutional protections against direct
> government interference (e.g., First Amendment law protects anonymous
> speech and privacy of association), but these protections can be
> circumvented when private actors keep records of online activity.

On the other hand other regions and countries, such as the EU and
Australia, have much stronger privacy laws that *do* cover private
actors.  Since the W3C is not US-based and the DNT specification will be
global in reach, I'm not sure why the US First Amendment needs to be
mentioned in the second paragraph.  If anything, I would instead talk
up-front about the EU's Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, which
shows that the DNT specification needs to be strongly consumer-focused
if it is to be globally relevant at all.  In fact the comments do go on
to say this.

Otherwise I think that the draft comments are very good.

I'm also reposting below two remarks from my last email to this group in
To and CC but which didn't actually go to the list so weren't archived:
> One of the issues that I have with the draft specification is with the
> introduction of the main document, which is written from industry's
> standpoint; eg. the rationale given for DNT is that "we don't want to
> offend the user because this leads to lost revenue", rather than "the
> user has certain privacy rights that we must respect".
> There are also lots of unsourced statements such as "Advertising
> revenue is the single largest source of funding on the Web" - is this
> actually true?


*Dr Jeremy Malcolm
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Received on Tuesday, 20 December 2011 22:27:18 UTC