RE: ISSUE-4 and clarity regarding browser defaults


I thought we had solved this issue sometime ago at the beginning of the working group:  opt-in vs. opt-out.  By moving the UA to default to DNT:1 without an explicit user action, you're creating an opt-in world.  I understand you like that end-point, but if you're unwilling to move back to the originally agreed upon opt-out structure, I suspect industry participants may leave the working group.  A pure opt-in outcome will have devastating impact to the online ecosystem, will prompt many to develop overly inclusive opt-in approaches, and ultimately consumers lose after being barraged with a sea of opt-in requests.  I'm saddened by this sudden 180 on this very key perspective but hopefully saner minds will prevail.

In my opinion, we need to resolve this fundamentally core issue prior to moving forward on any other issues at the TPWG.  Please let me know if you agree.

Thank you,

From: Jeffrey Chester []
Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2012 7:16 AM
To: Roy T. Fielding
Cc: Justin Brookman;
Subject: Re: ISSUE-4 and clarity regarding browser defaults

I believe having DNT:1 turned on from the start is appropriate for users.  The industry has created a ubiquitous data collection system by default (which it terms an "ecosystem").  Users have little choice in an online world shaped by immersive and invisible strategies designed to trigger conversion, viral social marketing, lead gen and related data techniques (let alone a person sold to highest bidder on exchanges).  The cross-platform measurement systems being put in place, which mirror the unified marketing platforms, is another example of a world where users have no real choices.   With DNT on from the start,  a user can make more informed decisions about their data collection practices and then decide how to proceed.

Groups such as mine have already taken key issues off the table--such as the need to control first parties.  We believe we can have both monetization and privacy.  But we need to make DNT meaningful--to stop tracking and collection.  I know that the consumer and privacy community is committed to strike the right balance.  I look to the industry leaders in this group to help make DNT a reality.

Jeffrey Chester
Center for Digital Democracy
1621 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 550
Washington, DC 20009<><>

On Jun 2, 2012, at 10:45 PM, Roy T. Fielding wrote:

On Jun 2, 2012, at 6:29 PM, Justin Brookman wrote:

Roy, this precise issue came up on the weekly call on Wednesday, and Aleecia concluded that there was disagreement among the group on the precise question of whether DNT:1 could be on by default, and that we would discuss the issue in Seattle.

What we talked about was whether a non-specific add-on (AVG) can
set the header field (ISSUE-149) and the impact of conflicting
extensions and configuration (ISSUE-150).

You can obviously do whatever you like to the document, but I just wanted to point out that the editors seem to disagree with your statement that we have reached consensus on this point.  The minutes from the last call ( seem to back up my argument, but perhaps I am confused and misunderstood what was said on Wednesday --- guidance from the chairs on this point would be helpful.  (Also, FWIW, there is also another raised ISSUE-143 on whether "activating a tracking preference must require explicit, informed consent from a user" . . .)

I believe 143 is about additional requirements on user awareness
of the new setting when DNT is enabled by an add-on/extension.

In the meantime, if you or anyone else could shed some light on why DNT:1 on by default would make the standard more challenging to implement, I would very much like to hear substantive arguments about how that would not be workable.

It isn't more challenging to implement.  It just won't be
implemented because it obscures the user's choice.  The essence
of any Recommendation is to encourage deployment of a given
protocol because it is good for everyone to do so, and we already
established that most of industry will deploy DNT if it accurately
reflects an individual user's choice.  We already discussed this
and made a decision. It has not yet been reopened to further
discussion, so I am not going to explain it further.

  Thus far, I have only heard assertions by fiat that we can't discuss the issue and tautological interpretations of the word "preference."  If there are technical reasons by DNT:1 on by default would pose problems, what are they (I'm not saying they don't exist, I just don't know)?

The technical reason is that it wouldn't match the defined
semantics for the field.  That could obviously be fixed by
changing the definition of the field, but since that is one
of the few things we have agreed to already, we have a process
that must be followed to reopen the issue.  Otherwise, we have
no chance of finishing anything.


Received on Sunday, 3 June 2012 20:45:55 UTC