ACTION-287 - Define "User Expectation"

The following analysis of the Compliance and Scope and TPE documents with regards to the use of the term and concept of "User Expectation" and "User Expects" results in the suggestions:

I propose the removal of the text "User Expectation" (and surrounding non-normative text) from the definition of "Network Transaction" in section 3.7, as the discussion of first and third parties is not relevant to the definition of "Network Transaction.   Full text proposed below.

I propose the removal of the text "User Expectation" and "User Expects" from the non-normative text supporting Option 1 (section and replacing with "user has knowingly and intentionally communicated with", which is the essence of the normative text for Option 1.  Referencing "user expectations" is misleading and not directly analogous to "knowingly and intentionally communicated with".

These steps technically resolve the issue, by completely removing "User Expectation" from the non-normative definitions in the documents, and make a slightly more clear differentiation between Option 1<> and Option 2<>.


TPE Document

The terms "User Expectation" and "User Expects" do not appear in the TPE document.

Compliance and Scope

The terms "User Expectation" and "User Expects" appear only in non-normative text in the Tracking Compliance and Scope document.

Section 3.5 - First and Third Parties

There are 3 occurrences in this context, all in text Option 1 (3.5.1).  This text expands on the "knowingly and intentionally communicated with" test described in section  The shorthand "user expects" and "user expectation" is misleading, and should be replaced with "knowingly and intentionally communicated with", since "user expectation" is not directly analogous to "user knowingly and intentionally communicated with".

Section 3.7 - Network Transaction

The non-normative text in section 3.7 is overly specific to determining party status, which is of little use to the definition.  Additionally, the current definition of "network transaction" is "network interaction", which has a rather different English language meaning - "transaction" is more commonly used to describe the call/response situation common to HTTP, whereas "interaction" generally describes two or more concurrent activities having an impact on each other.  Unfortunately, neither "network transaction" nor "network interaction" is defined in other RFCs.

My understanding is that the goal for the working group is to define a method for expressing a user preference with regards to tracking on each outbound request (whether HTTP or other protocol), and that therefore the term "transaction" is most appropriate.

A quick rewrite of section 3.7 follows:
A "network transaction" is a request from a client to a server that SHOULD result in a response from the server to the client.
Non-normative text:  A typical network transaction is an HTTP request and response, which encompasses the singular request and response pair.

I propose the removal of the existing non-normative explanatory text, as it does not explain what a network transaction is.

Brendan Riordan-Butterworth
Director, Technical Standards
Interactive Advertising Bureau
(212) 609-3734 / Skype: BrendanIAB<>

Received on Tuesday, 13 November 2012 22:51:37 UTC