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Re: ISSUE-5: What is the definition of tracking?

From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2011 21:44:40 +0200
To: "Aleecia M. McDonald" <aleecia@aleecia.com>
Cc: public-tracking@w3.org
Message-ID: <8ebe97l58dsv5c05i4nul7vl3f9d8as72t@hive.bjoern.hoehrmann.de>
* Aleecia M. McDonald wrote:
>While I will join in mourning the geekification of English, I think the
>idea that "tracking" (and, more usefully as Roy offers, DNT) does not
>match a dictionary definition seems not to pose a problem.

If you define what plain "tracking" is you also define what tracking is
not. If some web site puts out a Privacy Policy that claims it does not
track users, even though it has all manners of tracking equipment on it,
they are likely to face legal action for making false and misleading
statements in their privacy policy and pointing out the tracking defini-
tion in some W3C specification is unlikely to help them. That means the
"tracking" definition would not be useful outside the specification and
as such it could just call it "kjfhsdkjfshkdjf" instead of "tracking" as
the term would just be an upaque identifier.

Mozilla says on its web site that it tracks visitors. Mozilla Firefox
can be configured to "Tell web sites I do not want to be tracked". If I
configure Firefox to do this and visit the Mozilla web site and it still
tracks me, that is most certainly violating my reasonable expectations,
there is no disclaimer that even Mozilla ignores the "I do not want to
be tracked" signal going from their product to their product. People may
already be confused by all sorts of technical terms, but that is not a
justification to standardize misleading definitions for common terms.

(There is of course the option to offer an incomplete definition so the
law of the excluded middle would not be applicable, like "at this time
the following things are dnt-relevant forms of tracking, whether there
are more is left unaddressed", but that is probably not popular, and it
would not address standardizing confusing definitions anyway.)
-- 
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 Thursday, 13 October 2011 19:45:12 UTC

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