Re: "forced choice" user agent implementation of DNT

I also question whether a single sentence would adequately convey to the
user the tradeoffs involved in the choice they are making. Further, if you
are forcing a choice / getting in the user's way when they are just trying
to get something else done (e.g. see what the heck this program is that
they just installed, or in the case of an upgrade, "I just want to get to
my email." I think forced timing like this would probably degrade the
extent to which whatever signal you collect actually reflects user
preference as opposed to just "make the dialogs go away!"
On Oct 16, 2012 3:01 AM, "Roy T. Fielding" <> wrote:

> On Oct 12, 2012, at 11:04 AM, Dan Auerbach wrote:
> > There has been a lot of discussion on this list about user agents
> respecting user preference when it comes to setting DNT:1. As a temperature
> check, I want to make sure we have consensus about the compliance of a
> "forced user choice" implementation of DNT. For example, a browser during
> the installation process would have a screen with three radio buttons, none
> of which are selected, which respectively denote "turn DNT on", "turn DNT
> off", and "I do not wish to make a selection regarding DNT". In order to
> proceed, the user would have to make a selection, and nothing would be
> selected by default. This implementation could appear in the installation
> process, or, say, as a splash screen that the user must get through after a
> browser update.
> No, not during the installation process.  It makes no sense to
> say that a user can make a choice during installation when the
> user we are talking about rarely does browser installations.
> For example, the IE10 dialogs are never seen by the users of
> a PC running Windows 8 unless one of those users happens to
> be the admin who did the installation.
> What we have talked about is a user choice at any time during the
> selection or use of the user agent.  For a general-purpose UA,
> it would be fine to have a dialog presented, with neither "on"
> nor "off" preselected, when the user's profile is created (or
> upon first use after the DNT functionality has been upgraded
> for an existing user profile). That is the natural time for
> such options, since the choice should be recorded in the user's
> own configuration, be applicable to all UAs that share that
> user profile, and not have to be asked again every time the UA
> is upgraded.
> If I were to implement such a dialog, the third option would be
> preselected ("I do not wish to make a selection regarding DNT",
> a.k.a. "unset").  There is no reason to force a user to make
> a choice, since they can configure it later.
> > I think it is important to make sure we have consensus on this issue. If
> I were an ad network, from a business perspective I think I would care much
> more about the rate of adoption of DNT:1, instead of respecting user
> preference.
> No, that is just machiavellian.  The key is user preference.
> If an advertiser truly believes that personalizing an ad for
> a given user is going to upset that user, and that the DNT signal
> is a reasonably accurate signal of that preference, then it is
> the advertiser that will force the ad network to adhere to DNT.
> Most of advertising is about establishing brand awareness, and
> the advertisers with money have no desire to spend it in a way
> that makes their brand annoying.
> The rate of adoption of DNT is irrelevant if it reflects an
> actual user's preference -- it simply changes the relative
> value of ad placement for that user, which may in turn result
> in either more ads being displayed or limitations on non-account
> use.  The ad networks are not responsible for keeping websites
> in business -- they can adjust accordingly.
> However, if DNT does not reflect a user's preference, then there
> is simply no reason to adhere to it regardless of the signal's
> deployment.  Advertisers won't care, so ad networks won't care;
> the existing opt-out mechanisms are more accurate than an invalid
> DNT signal.
> ....Roy

Received on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 07:55:06 UTC