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issues and questions in the latest TPE draft

From: David Wainberg <david@networkadvertising.org>
Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2012 18:34:27 -0400
Message-ID: <5032BB73.5050608@networkadvertising.org>
To: "public-tracking@w3.org" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Hello all,

Since we seem to be getting close on the TPE, I just took a thorough 
read through the whole doc and I've spotted a few things I want to 
raise. Apologies if I'm rehashing stuff that was covered some time ago, 
when I was not a participant.

  * The introduction to the TPE is too editorial, especially the 4th
    paragraph, and especially the last sentence of the 4th paragraph. I
    wonder if we need this at all in the TPE. It is at least better
    suited for the TCS doc, but even in that doc, I'd raise the same
    concerns.
  * If DNT is to single out 3rd parties, it should be made clear earlier
    in the doc. The introduction makes it sound like DNT is widely
    applicable to any party on the net. The first indication that the
    spec applies specially to third parties is in the definition of
    "user-granted exception." To me, that seems to come out of the blue
    at that point, and more explanation up top would be helpful so that
    readers, especially casual readers, do not misconstrue the nature of
    the spec.
  * Similarly, the introductory language to Section 3 states, "The goal
    of this protocol is to allow a user to express their personal
    preference regarding tracking to each server." It is not each
    server, but rather third party servers. If first parties have little
    to no responsibilities under DNT, that should be made clear.
    Alternatively, we might make the TPE more neutral, using language
    like "covered party" or some such term, to avoid this problem.
  * I know this has been discussed a lot, but I just don't get how it is
    going to work. I worry about the language regarding implicit
    decisions to set DNT: "A user agent must have a default tracking
    preference of unset (not enabled) unless a specific tracking
    preference is implied by the decision to use that agent." Who will
    judge this and how? I know there will be clear cut cases, but there
    will also be many, many gray areas.
  * 5.2 tracking status value "N": I raised this on the call last week.
    I can't find where or how this was closed. I believe it is, and
    should be, still an open issue.
  * Again, forgive me if I'm missing background on this, but Section 6.8
    states that "User agents may instantiate
    NavigatorDoNotTrack.requestSiteSpecificTrackingException even when
    navigator.doNotTrack is null." Shouldn't this be a MUST? Sites will
    rely on this being present. What's the rationale for making it optional?
  * Finally, section 6.7 includes non-normative language that states
    that UA's may implement exception management as they see fit, and
    gives an example of a UA prompt to allow a requested exception.
    Although this is non-normative, I have concerns about the impact. In
    my view, the requesting party (i.e. the publisher) should control
    the messaging of the request, and the UA should provide only a
    simple yes/no confirmation. The example given will create a terrible
    user experience, as the user will be presented with multiple and
    possible conflicting explanations of the request. Let's not
    encourage this. Canit we please remove it?

I look forward to your input on these. Thanks to Roy and David for 
putting so much work into this draft!

Cheers,

David
Received on Monday, 20 August 2012 22:34:56 UTC

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