W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-geolocation@w3.org > October 2008

Re: wording for the privacy section

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2008 01:07:56 +0000 (UTC)
To: John Morris <jmorris@cdt.org>
Cc: Doug Turner <doug.turner@gmail.com>, "Thomson, Martin" <Martin.Thomson@andrew.com>, Jon Ferraiolo <jferrai@us.ibm.com>, Andrei Popescu <andreip@google.com>, public-geolocation <public-geolocation@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0810290102400.1041@hixie.dreamhostps.com>

On Tue, 28 Oct 2008, John Morris wrote:
> According to the charter, the objective of this WG is "to define a 
> SECURE AND PRIVACY-SENSITIVE INTERFACE for using client-side location 
> information in location-aware Web applications."  To simply assert in a 
> spec that any implementation MUST take privacy into account while being 
> silent on HOW to do so accomplishes nothing, and will do absolutely 
> nothing to change the norm - which is to wholly ignore privacy.

I think what we need is an API that is the JS equivalent of the API in the 
iPhone OS stack, which is privacy-sensitive in exactly the same opaque 
way. Do you think that the iPhone implementation is insecure?

> [...] the output of [the geopriv] group is a standard that seeks to 
> FORCE developers to deal directly with privacy (or to consciously choose 
> to ignore privacy by ignoring an essential element of the IETF 
> standard).

Having the developers have to worry about privacy is a lost cause, IMHO, 
especially in the Web space where the developers are actively hostile in 
many cases. Much better to put this in the hands of the user, under the 
control of the user agent. The UA is trusted software already, and there 
are very few UA implementors relative to the number of site implementors, 
so it is far easier to get it right at that level.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Wednesday, 29 October 2008 01:08:43 UTC

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