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DNT and hearing held yesterday by US Senate Commerce Committee

From: Kevin Kiley <kevin.kiley@3pmobile.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2012 20:52:47 +0000
To: "public-tracking@w3.org" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-ID: <B400AD156CAF3E4680360A8988DCC9752C279C36@MBX022-E1-NJ-6.exch022.domain.local>
FYI: Report on yesterday's meeting about DNT and Privacy held in Washington by the US Senate Commerce Committee...


The article above contains a link to the live webcast ( now archived ) of the full US Senate Committee meeting.


NOTE: The archived video of the meeting just says 'The meeting begins in a moment'
for 19 minutes and 49 seconds at the beginning of the video.

The Meeting itself starts at +19:50 into the video file.

Majority Statement

Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV
U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Witness Panel 1 ( Opening statements were made in this order... )

Mr. Bob Liodice ( Speaks at +26:05 )
President and CEO
Association of National Advertisers
PDF of his testimony...

Mr. Alex Fowler ( Speaks at +31:48 - Excerpts included below )
Global Privacy and Policy Leader
PDF of his testimony...

Mr. Peter Swire ( Speaks at +38:25 )
C. William O'Neill Professor of Law
The Ohio State University
PDF of his testimony...

Mr. Berin Szoka ( Speaks at +43:15 )
PDF of his testimony...

Free-range questions from the Senate panel begin at +48:50.

Excerpts ( regarding DNT and the W3C effort ) from Mr. Alex Fowler's (Mozilla)
opening statements to the Committee...

** 45 million FireFox users are already sending/using the 'DNT' header.

Mr. Alex Fowler
Global Privacy and Policy Leader
PDF of his testimony...


Mozilla is a global community of people who have been working together since 1998 to build a better Internet.
As an independent organization, we are dedicated to promoting openness, innovation, and opportunity online.
Mozilla does not own or operate a search or advertising business.
Our mission is to pursue the interests of users, developers and the Web as a whole.
Mozilla and its contributors advance our goals by making free, open source technologies for consumers and developers that reflect these values.
Our most popular product is the Firefox Web browser used by more than 500 million people worldwide.
As a core principle, we believe that the Internet, as the most significant social and technological development of our time, is a precious public resource that must be improved and protected.

Mozilla was the first browser to implement Do Not Track in March 2011 inspired by innovations from privacy and security researchers Christopher Soghoian and Dan Kaminsky.

When we first announced it, the ad industry was critical and Microsoft publicly ridiculed the feature, but the FTC strongly supported it and our users wanted it.

Today 9% of our users ( 45 million users ) have turned on DNT in the desktop version of Firefox and 18% have turned on DNT in the mobile version.

Microsoft has announced it will ship IE with DNT turned on by default in Internet Explorer 10, and soon it will be possible for users to turn on DNT in all major browsers.
Numerous companies already honor the DNT signal, including social networks like Twitter, publishers like the Associated Press, and mobile advertisers like Jumptap, AdTruth, and more are on the way.
We are building DNT into Thunderbird, our email client, and our mobile operating system, code named Boot2Gecko, where the user's DNT signal will be available to every app on the device.
In addition to our engineering contributions, a Mozilla engineer submitted the first standards proposal for Do Not Track, and a member of our community is co-chair of the W3C standards effort.

Do Not Track is a simple, digital signal sent by the user via the browser to Web sites.

As a signal, Do Not Track does not enforce, break, control, disable or impair any online tracking or personalization technology.
It is a signal that is sent along with Internet traffic, indicating that the user sitting behind the keyboard would like their privacy to be respected more strongly than might otherwise be the case.

To make it effective, the recipients ( Web sites and ad networks ) must breathe life into the signal by honoring the user's intent.

The crucial questions therefore become:

What does the user intend by the DNT signal?
What should a site do when it receives this signal?

These questions are the subject of a consensus driven multi-stakeholder effort currently underway at the W3C, as I mentioned a moment ago.
The Do Not Track working group is chartered to develop a robust self-regulatory framework for user choice and control on the Web.
While the group has agreement on most of the technical requirements of the protocol, there are still two competing views on what DNT should mean.
One is that DNT means what it says, no 3rd party tracking of users whether its targeted ads or for other purposes.

The other position is that DNT means no targeting, but tracking and collection are still acceptable.

Currently, the working group is perusing a middle ground.

The participants are collaborating in an open process to determine both the technical and compliance requirements for a Do Not Track system.

Despite dialogue that could sometimes be characterized as atypically aggressive (for standards working
groups) and even personal at times, the process has been open, transparent, and inclusive.

The group consists of over 35 leading companies, 21 including advertisers, publishers, and Internet
companies, together with consumer advocates, industry trade associations, academics from the US
and Europe, and independent experts.

The discussions have been productive so far.

The group is committed to following a consensus-based approach to achieve a protocol that everyone can live with.

As a member of the W3C group, we remain optimistic that the process will produce a meaningful standard that
ultimately provides people with more choice and control related to targeted ads and user tracking by 3rd parties.

Together with the Administration’s multi-stakeholder process to develop a code of conduct that promotes
transparent disclosures to consumers concerning mobile apps’ treatment of personal data, we are hopeful that
a more representative cadre of concerns will produce effective self-‐regulatory practices without the need for legislation.

However in the event that an open, multi-stakeholder process is not successful it may be necessary to explore
regulatory measures

Received on Friday, 29 June 2012 20:53:16 UTC

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