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Re: tracking-ISSUE-117: Terms: tracking v. cross-site tracking [Tracking Definitions and Compliance]

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2012 02:19:54 -0800
Message-Id: <9090107E-20EC-4BAD-9A84-BFCF575C9675@gbiv.com>
To: Tracking Protection Working Group WG <public-tracking@w3.org>
On Jan 12, 2012, at 7:48 PM, Tracking Protection Working Group Issue Tracker wrote:

> tracking-ISSUE-117: Terms: tracking v. cross-site tracking [Tracking Definitions and Compliance]
> 
> http://www.w3.org/2011/tracking-protection/track/issues/117
> 
> Raised by: Aleecia McDonald
> On product: Tracking Definitions and Compliance
> 
> We have a bit of disagreement over terms. The Tracking Definitions and Compliance document holds the definitions. We should harmonize the Tracking Preference Expressions document to match. This leaves open the question of what the Definitions and Compliance document should contain, but at present there does not appear to be a consensus to change from tracking to cross-site tracking. Consensus is required to change sections of the FPWD for the Definitions and Compliance document where we had prior agreements.

No, that is incorrect on all counts.

First, the TPE spec must be complete in the sense that the semantics are
fully defined.  The two specs cannot be inconsistent, but we haven't reached
that point yet AFAIK, and so far the TPE spec has been a step or so ahead
of the compliance spec in terms of drafting status.  If I stop drafting
text to wait until the definitions are done then I cannot meet the
deadlines for this WG.  If they need to be consistent right now, then
the easy solution is to copy the definition to the Compliance spec.
I agree that they have to be consistent before last call.

Second, that term was used in the FPWD:

 egrep cross-site tracking-dnt-20111114.html 

      cross-site tracking preference via the <a class="internalDFN" href="#dfn-dnt-1">DNT</a> request header field in
      cross-site tracking, and a mechanism for allowing the user to approve
        with which they have no personal trust relationship.  When cross-site
        tracking or cross-site sharing of data collection does not match the
        to express their own preference regarding cross-site tracking that is
        permit use of their content without cross-site data collection,
        personal preference regarding cross-site tracking to each server and
        tell servers <q>do not track me cross-site</q>, install a plug-in
          the user's cross-site tracking preference to be expressed to
        the user has chosen to allow cross-site tracking or that their

It only looks like a recent addition because of all the new text added
for the meaning of DNT 1 and 0.

Third, the FPWD did not have WG consensus on content -- it had consensus on
publication as a working draft.  The state that you are thinking of is after
Last Call, which we haven't reached yet.  The editor won't be making any changes
after last call without a fully-baked change proposal with consensus determined
by the chairs, because the LC is after the WG has declared consensus on content.

You can, as WG chairs, institute formal change control before last call, but
that would significantly delay publication (and you have to actually tell me
first so that I stop making stupid changes).

Fourth, I don't believe there is any such consensus on using the bare word
"tracking" to define what DNT restricts.  In fact, every single service
provider in the working group (that I am aware of) has backed my position.
Since we are the ones who have to implement it, that's the only consensus
we are likely to get.

I stated in mail that tracking had to be decided in order for me to define
the semantics.  We have an issue on how to define "tracking" and it has not
been resolved.  We did have a discussion on the list and it was very clear
that a majority of the working group (especially the folks who were not in
attendance at Cambridge) expected "tracking" to be interpreted as all forms
of user identification, including clickstreams for first-party analytics.
Hence, *our* working definition of tracking differed from that used by 
Jonathan in the DNT Internet Draft upon which TPE is based.  I therefore
made the change to add cross-site a few months ago, because otherwise the
FPWD would have differed substantively from the existing DNT implementations
and from the very clear opinions of those of us at the Cambridge F2F.
Everyone was aware of that change -- it was even mentioned at one point
(by John, IIRC) during the last F2F.

I expect the Compliance spec to define tracking as per the WG discussion,
once it gets around to deciding that issue.  That's why cross-site tracking
is used in TPE.  If not, then TPE will change accordingly.  I don't expect
us to work in lock-step because we are already severely constrained on time.

....Roy
Received on Friday, 13 January 2012 10:22:53 UTC

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