W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-tracking@w3.org > July 2012

Re: Frequency Capping

From: Tamir Israel <tisrael@cippic.ca>
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2012 23:34:06 -0400
Message-ID: <4FFE45AE.4070708@cippic.ca>
To: Chris Mejia <chris.mejia@iab.net>
CC: "Grimmelmann, James" <James.Grimmelmann@nyls.edu>, W3C DNT Working Group Mailing List <public-tracking@w3.org>, Mike Zaneis <mike@iab.net>, Brendan Riordan-Butterworth <Brendan@iab.net>
On 7/11/2012 7:12 PM, Chris Mejia wrote:
> With Microsoft already shipping IE10 with DNT:1 defaulted to "on", 
> there will soon be 30+ percent of users broadcasting the DNT:1 signal.

Oh, that. Well, I don't think IE10 DNT-1 by default actually translates 
into a 30% DNT-1. Assuming for the moment that IE10 does achieve a 30% 
user base, the reality is that these users will be prompted left right 
and center by servers to move to DNT-0 or grant exceptions. I imagine 
many will, as I've seen the creativity and innovation the ad industry is 
able to leverage when setting out to convince users to click on buttons : P

In any case, in setting DNT-1 on by default, IE10 is non-compliant with 
the standard (so I don't see how you could pin that one on the W3C) and, 
moreover, at the moment it appears the working group is leaning towards 
a standard that permits servers to ignore any DNT-1 signal they feel is 

Going back to the F-caps, since we're talking about third parties a 
specific user has had little interaction with, I do not think it is 
unreasonable for a user who sends out a signal -- 'do not track me' -- 
to presume that this means they will not be tracked. Allowing user 
identification for the purpose of F-caps means allowing tracking or, 
alternatively, makes it impossible to ensure non-tracking at the user end.

It could be that some might feel the marginal benefit of adopting a 
method of F-capping that does not require tracking is not meritorious. 
But making this assessment is a two step process. The first step is to 
outline the most feasible means of achieving the objective. Step two is 
to weigh the costs of that objective against any perceived benefit. We 
can't really do step 2 properly without doing step 1 first. If step 1 is 
impossible, it would be good to hear why some of the methods that have 
already been proposed are impossible or to what extent they're inadequate.

Received on Thursday, 12 July 2012 03:34:46 UTC

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