Re: action-231, issue-153 requirements on other software that sets DNT headers

Sorry, late to this conversation as I was moving today.

I find David's analysis very helpful.  A first or third party can always refuse to provide service to a user agent, regardless of whether it's because the user agent is "not compliant" or because the site(s) cannot afford to service persons using those user agents because they're less valuable to advertisers.  This can happen today with Safari browsers, or with users who install Ad Block.

As Shane has said, the key is transparency: you can't just receive a DNT:1 signal and go about your tracking business.  You have to get permission to track, or tell the user you refuse to deliver them content while DNT:1 is on, or refuse to provide service to the user agent at all.  I saw a news story recently that Wired is already doing this for just IE10 users --- grant permission to track, or we'll just serve you snippets.  They don't claim that IE10 isn't compliant---rather they presume the validity of the signal---they just say "here are your choices."  Of course, this may not be compliant with European law, but I believe the group had decided that sites could degrade users' experiences who don't grant exceptions.

I had been uncomfortable with sites or third parties saying "come back with a different browser" due to allegations of noncompliance, but it helps to consider that they could do it anyway---as long as it's transparent to the user what's going on.

I do want to remind everyone that the current draft of the spec doesn't talk in terms of "defaults," but requires explicit and informed consent to turn on DNT:1.  There are varying options as to what that means, but the level of consent needed to turn on DNT:1 is equivalent to the level of consent needed to get a user-granted exception to track.  I do continue to feel strongly that the consent requirements for exceptions must be AT LEAST as high as for turning on DNT:1 in the first place.  If you think Microsoft's flow is inadequate to turn on DNT:1, then that flow would also be inadequate to get an exception to track.

Sent via mobile, please excuse curtness and typos

-----Original message-----
From: Mike Zaneis <>
To: David Singer <>
Cc: " (" <>
Sent: Thu, Aug 23, 2012 00:07:54 GMT+00:00
Subject: Re: action-231, issue-153 requirements on other software that sets  DNT  headers

David, you continue to reference "the site", but all of this impacts the multibillion dollar third party industry, so can you couch Apple's position on DNT in terms of impact on the third parties? 

Mike Zaneis
SVP & General Counsel, IAB
(202) 253-1466

On Aug 22, 2012, at 6:30 PM, "David Singer" <> wrote:

> Thanks
> as I think I have said before, sites have always had, and will continue to have, the ability (right?) to reject visits from whatever user-agents they like for whatever reasons they like *whether or not we rat-hole on this* in either discussion or specification.  So, while I can live with the reasons to write the bland 'don't enable by default' statement, I really feel that going further is unproductive.
> (It is a little ironic that we used to experience this kind of UA-sensitivity with sites that insisted "only IE6 may enter", and now, it seems, there is a risk of sites that say "no IE10 beyond this point" :-().
> I do not see anything productive in us trying to define what is, or is not, or might be considered as, or not, perhaps, a default.  It doesn't make a material difference to the specification, the site designs, the UA designs, or anything.  It just means more emails to read and respond to.
> On Aug 22, 2012, at 15:23 , Tamir Israel <> wrote:
>> Here's a screenshot.
>> Again, I personally agree there are problems with relying on this type of mechanism as 'express user preference', but in spite of that, it is commonly used in a lot of contexts.
>> Second, I'm wondering if people feel that by rejecting this approach, we are veering into UI-constraint land?
>> On 8/22/2012 6:15 PM, David Singer wrote:
>>> Perhaps we should wait to see the actual product; we may be off into hypothetical weeds here.
>> <win8.png>
> David Singer
> Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.

Received on Thursday, 23 August 2012 00:58:11 UTC