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

From: Brett Error <brett@adobe.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2011 13:08:50 -0700
To: "public-tracking@w3.org" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-ID: <F62F2425E58BB043AF79B36E9F6281C8056B673B73@nambx07.corp.adobe.com>
That is fine.  But doing so doesn't address the concern that the public-facing name of this initiative/standard/feature sets the expectation that if a consumer turns in on, she won't be tracked.  

It may seem like a small issue, but I'm concerned that it limits the effectiveness of standard.  

-- Press headlines: "Even with Do Not Track turned on, websites are still tracking you!"  

-- Enough exceptions that make it seem like this is yet another click-wrap agreement to be ignored.  

-- User confusion and violated expectations-- arguably worse that the situation we are currently in where most consumers don't really know WHAT to expect from a tracking perspective.

We have two ways to avoid this:
1) Stop calling it Do Not Track, and call it "Respect my Privacy" or the like.
2) Continue with Do Not Track, but make sure it clear it is merely a preference expressed by a user and that there are legitimate reasons it may not be respected.

The first option is vastly superior, but I also understand the point of view that we've got some brand equity invested in the name "do not track".  

If we choose to continue on the current path pretending that the peeps could ever come to think of track as meaning something only involving multiple websites, so be it.  I'll just sit here (somewhat) quietly hating you all and I'll try to use my polite inside voice when I dance around saying "I told you so" in a few months. ;)

-----Original Message-----
From: JC Cannon [mailto:jccannon@microsoft.com] 
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 11:57 AM
To: Brett Error; public-tracking@w3.org
Subject: RE: ISSUE-5: What is the definition of tracking?

Will limiting the discussion to "as it applies to DNT" help since it won't apply to first-party sites?


-----Original Message-----
From: public-tracking-request@w3.org [mailto:public-tracking-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Brett Error
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 9:07 AM
To: public-tracking@w3.org
Subject: RE: ISSUE-5: What is the definition of tracking?

I disagree. I have yet to find a consumer that would consider a first party tracking them on a single site to not be "tracking".  

-----Original Message-----
From: public-tracking-request@w3.org [mailto:public-tracking-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Aleecia M. McDonald
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 12:37 AM
To: public-tracking@w3.org
Subject: Re: ISSUE-5: What is the definition of tracking?

On Oct 12, 2011, at 5:17 PM, Bjoern Hoehrmann wrote:

> The Working Group cannot define "tracking" without additional 
> modifiers in a manner that is inconsistent with typical english usage.
> "This user arrived on this page and then moved on to that page" is a 
> statement that cannot be made if the user's movements around the site are not tracked.

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. Between words like cookies, spam, the web, and private browsing not actually being private, I think computer jargon is well established.  

I am trying to hear from folks who thinking tracking is something other than data flowing between two sites. On calls and in Boston I had the impression there are such views in the group. But if all is silence, perhaps I was mistaken, or perhaps they have been persuaded otherwise.

Received on Thursday, 13 October 2011 20:10:15 UTC

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