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

Re: Proposed Text for Local Law and Public Purpose

From: Rigo Wenning <rigo@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2012 19:04:28 +0200
To: Chris Mejia <chris.mejia@iab.net>
Cc: "public-tracking@w3.org" <public-tracking@w3.org>, "rob@blaeu.com" <rob@blaeu.com>, Mike Zaneis <mike@iab.net>, Marc Groman-NAI <mgroman@networkadvertising.org>, Lou Mastria - DAA <lou@aboutads.info>, "Amy Colando (LCA)" <acolando@microsoft.com>
Message-ID: <3220405.p4MAFh6BkK@hegel.sophia.w3.org>

no technical specification is ever in a legal vacuum. WSIS, IGF, WTO 
with TRIPS and ISO are there to witness for my assertion. The OECD 
has invited bodies into ITAC precisely because of that. So please 
give up beating that old and wrong argument to death. 

We want to create something useful. It can only be useful if we take 
the environment we are operating in into account. That's what I'm 


On Wednesday 24 October 2012 16:49:04 Chris Mejia wrote:
> Rigo, thank you very much for the full clarification-- that's very
> useful, as your first comment led me down another path.  You have
> very clearly laid out W3C's purview, and I appreciate this.  As
> you are not a legislative body, and you are not making nor
> mandating laws, then respectfully, you/we should stick to
> creating technical specifications (that is what you do well,
> btw), and let lawmakers worry about creating and enforcing laws,
> jurisdictionally.  Accordingly, in our working group
> decision-making and consensus-building around a DNT spec, we
> should not be influenced by what some jurisdiction may or may not
> specify in terms of laws related to DNT down the road-- doing so,
> unfairly adds undue and unwarranted bias to our process here--
> and it is, in your eloquent words below, out of our purview and
> scope.  In simple terms, the W3C doesn't work for lawmakers, but
> it often feels like it does... So I do truly appreciate it when
> you, the attorney for the W3C, makes it absolutely clear that we
> are not working for the concerns of certain (or any) lawmakers.
> Best Regards,
> Chris
> Chris Mejia | Digital Supply Chain Solutions | Ad Technology Group
> | Interactive Advertising Bureau - IAB
> On 10/24/12 12:28 PM, "Rigo Wenning" <rigo@w3.org> wrote:
> >Chris,
> >
> >I would say that you profoundly misunderstand what I was saying.
> >
> >1/ No, DNT is not a law, but those who will use it are embedded
> >in their respective legal systems.
> >
> >2/ No, W3C is not a self-regulatory body. It is a Specification
> >Developing Organization (SDO). Between the Specification and its
> >given value in a given legal system, there is one further step
> >where W3C has no influence whatsoever. This step is the
> >implementation of the Specification. I would love to be able to
> >make mandatory Specifications. All the world would be XHTML2.
> >Unfortunately, the world has decided otherwise. This example may
> >tell you that even if we all agree here and everything is
> >charming and we all really like what we see, there is no
> >guarantee that people will take it up large scale on a global
> >basis. On this last step, we have only a very limited influence
> >(we can try to encourage people to implement).
> >
> >3/ No, W3C is not a legislative body, but it can't prevent
> >legislators to make its Specifications mandatory. Some of this is
> >e.g. happening in other areas, but not in Privacy. Again, we have
> >only very very limited influence on that step. We can neither
> >force nor prevent it.
> >
> >4/ Can you explain what you mean by "DNT law"?
> >
> >5/ I was just pointing out undesirable effects of Amy's proposal
> >on the expected functioning and balance of the DNT system and
> >how this is embedded into certain legal systems. I'm not a full
> >proof common law lawyer, so I don't know how contracts between
> >two parties to the detriment of a third party are handled in
> >those systems.
> >
> >6/ I fully understand that DNT leading to violation of
> >contractual obligations is an issue. But I also understand that
> >this is an issue for transition and implementation and that we
> >should discuss the contractual obligation issues under this
> >topic. It has nothing to do with Amy's text. Amy's text is on
> >the predominance of law over DNT. But law is one thing,
> >contractual obligations are party specific and thus can't
> >overturn. If you have obliged yourself to track all users of a
> >given site regardless, you simply can't send "1" or "3" back
> >because you can't implement DNT.
> >
> >Is that clearing the misunderstanding? If not, I welcome further
> >specific questions.
> >
> >Rigo
> >
> >On Wednesday 24 October 2012 16:11:17 Chris Mejia wrote:
> >> Rigo, where is DNT a "law"?  Frankly, I'm very confused by your
> >> statement below... I thought the W3C was a self-regulatory body
> >> that creates voluntary specifications, not a legislative body,
> >> creating prescriptive laws.  Am I wrong?  If we are creating
> >> the
> >> "DNT law", that's certainly news to me.
Received on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 17:04:52 UTC

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