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

Questionable Research

From: Shane Wiley <wileys@yahoo-inc.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2012 07:37:50 -0800
To: Jeffrey Chester <jeff@democraticmedia.org>
CC: John Simpson <john@consumerwatchdog.org>, David Wainberg <david@networkadvertising.org>, Walter van Holst <walter.van.holst@xs4all.nl>, "public-tracking@w3.org" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-ID: <63294A1959410048A33AEE161379C8027484D7DBFE@SP2-EX07VS02.ds.corp.yahoo.com>
[Subject line changed as this discussion has moved off of the initial JS thread but it's important to call out the very real issues with recent (and arguably, historical) consumer privacy research that lacks real-life trade-off scenarios.]


Please look at the merits of the questions/issues raised in the article rather than your personal views of the author's associations.

Thank you,
- Shane

From: Jeffrey Chester [mailto:jeff@democraticmedia.org]
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 5:58 AM
To: Shane Wiley
Cc: John Simpson; David Wainberg; Walter van Holst; public-tracking@w3.org
Subject: Re: ISSUE-187 - some thoughts on using javascript

Shane.  Mr. Castro works for an industry funded and connected group, which has worked to weaken privacy rules--including for children. It's board includes Cisco, Intel, Qualcom, Oracle,  H-P, Microsoft and others.

It's important to discuss scholarly research that is relevant, but also identify the conflicts of interest which shape their role.



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

On Nov 9, 2012, at 3:47 PM, Shane Wiley wrote:

An interesting article discussing the lack of objectivity in the research paper John just circulated:

New Survey Shows Some Privacy Scholars Lack Objectivity
BY DANIEL CASTRO<http://www.innovationfiles.org/author/danielcastro/> * OCTOBER 14, 2012
URL:  HTTP://WWW.INNOVATIONFILES.ORG/NEW-SURVEY-SHOWS-SOME-PRIVACY-SCHOLARS-LACK-OBJECTIVITY/<http://www.innovationfiles.org/new-survey-shows-some-privacy-scholars-lack-objectivity/>

"A survey funded by Nokia<http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2152135> and conducted at the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology shows what has become increasingly apparent to those who follow this line of research: some of the most prominent academic researchers have ceased to retain even a veneer of objectivity in their research on privacy. The authors, Chris Hoofnagle, Jennifer Urban and Su Li, state that their survey shows that "Americans have a low level of knowledge about [Do Not Track], but prefer that it mean that websites do not collect tracking data."

I won't mince words here: this is shoddy research."
NOTE:  Please follow the link above to read the rest of the article.

From: John Simpson [mailto:john@consumerwatchdog.org]
Sent: Friday, November 09, 2012 1:13 PM
To: David Wainberg
Cc: Walter van Holst; public-tracking@w3.org<mailto:public-tracking@w3.org>
Subject: Re: ISSUE-187 - some thoughts on using javascript

I've attached as a PDF file an interesting research paper from the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology about what people expect from DNT.

John M. Simpson
Consumer Advocate
Consumer Watchdog
2701 Ocean Park Blvd., Suite 112
Santa Monica, CA,90405
Tel: 310-392-7041
Cell: 310-292-1902

On Nov 9, 2012, at 9:59 AM, David Wainberg wrote:

On 11/8/12 5:52 PM, Walter van Holst wrote:

On 11/8/12 9:17 PM, Vinay Goel wrote:

Hi Walter,

I agree with you that the logical solution would be to store them together

in the UA preferences.  From what I understand, though, the major UAs

would likely not implement this, though.

I probably should have spotted that in the list archives before, but

have missed it. I cannot speek for the UAs, nonetheless all research on

user opinions on tracking suggests that they are much more inclined to

go for a all-out DNT:1 than for DNT:0, which makes me assume that any

exception mechanism is unlikely to be used often. Sadly not all research

in this field is publicly available, so we have to make do with what is.
What credible research can you cite that is publicly available? Unfortunately we don't have much useful information on what users really want, or would want if they properly understood the technology and their choices. And it's certainly not very helpful to cite research that isn't available.

Received on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 15:38:43 UTC

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