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

From: Brett Error <brett@adobe.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2011 13:14:53 -0700
To: "public-tracking@w3.org" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-ID: <F62F2425E58BB043AF79B36E9F6281C8056B673B7C@nambx07.corp.adobe.com>
+1

-----Original Message-----
From: public-tracking-request@w3.org [mailto:public-tracking-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Bjoern Hoehrmann
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 1:45 PM
To: Aleecia M. McDonald
Cc: public-tracking@w3.org
Subject: Re: ISSUE-5: What is the definition of tracking?

* 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 20:15:52 UTC

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