Re: Proposed Text for Local Law and Public Purpose


On Thursday 25 October 2012 18:49:17 Chris Mejia wrote:
> As the attorney for the W3C, I always see you making eloquent
> arguments and statements that almost always come from a European
> perspective.  While I appreciate that you are European, may I
> humbly ask, is there a U.S. attorney for the W3C that can bring
> some balance to this process/working group by offering a
> well-researched and well-understood U.S. perspective to the
> working group, in addition to the European perspective you always
> bring?  

Apologies if I had too much airtime on EU stuff. I have to get the 
global considerations up and running. So please do not misread my 
activity as making EU rules for the US. W3C is a very small 
organization and apart from being the Legal counsel, I also happen 
to be the Privacy Activity Lead since 10 years. In this role I was 
tasked by Thomas to get the EU stuff rolling. And that is the very 
reason why you see me on those discussions. If you want more of my 
intervention on the US topic, please tell me and I'll do. 

> OR, since the W3C represents itself as an "international
> standards setting organization", and you are the sole W3C
> attorney participating in the working group, may I humbly ask
> that you please do as thorough a job researching and presenting
> U.S. (and other country's) concerns as you do European concerns
> around DNT?

I think I do some of this, but I see that you want to have me label 
clearly what belongs to what. I will try that, but in the heat of so 
many emails, I may forget from time to time. Don't hesitate to ask 

> Your voice in this forum comes with the weight and
> influence of your office/position at W3C, and international
> organization as I understand it.  As I denote a distinct bias
> towards the European perspective in your comments, statements and
> assertions to this group, I'd only ask for fair-play; that
> perspectives other than European be presented by the W3C staff. 

I've seen my role differently, but your call makes me re-consider my 
own picture of my own position. I have tendency not to overestimate 
my "weight and position". So if you have the feeling that my 
position creates too much weight, tell me how I can remedy the 

> For example, perhaps you could offer your legal expertise to the
> group by contacting the MRC, conducting unbiased primary research
> on their mandate, their standards, their motivation and their
> process, and then present the results to this group? 
> Respectfully, I think it's a fair request.

Nice one, but very unfortunately I'm too busy to do that and 
normally rely on division of labor to have people explain things to 
me. Kimon has explained many things to me and this mainly worked. I 
saw Ed making some inquiry and you haven't answered his email (or I 
haven't been there yet in the thread of all those emails). We are a 
group of nearly 60 people. If someone else could come up with an 
executive summary of what MRC does, that would be fine. You offered, 
let's hope that the chairs will put it on the agenda. 
> There is one other option that has been repeatedly brought forward
> by me and others: regional/jurisdictional compliance
> specifications for DNT. 

See, here I take my W3C hat and formally convey that W3C has the 
principle of one Web. This doesn't mean EU rules for the US or US 
rules for the EU. It just means that the Web is one place. And that 
we strive for a tool that works in this one place. I still hope we 
can come up with one solution that works for all (although with 
pain, I know) and gives us a longer term perspective. This would not 
only ease the transborder data flow issues, but is also one of the 
benefits that W3C as a global organization can bring to the table 
compared to the regional associations of interest that have created 
things we are benefiting from in our work here. This may or may not 
be appreciated, but this is one of our added values. 

> At the end of the day, we are going to
> keep running our heads into the same wall:  that wall is, every
> jurisdiction has its own unique and sovereign practices and
> requirements that should be respected. 

Why so dramatic? I think we are on a good path and my discussions on 
global considerations are going better than expected. 

> And I believe, Europeans
> should do what's good for Europeans, and we should do what's good
> for United Statesmen.  And Mexicans should do what's right for
> Mexicans.  

Are you seriously arguing for a isolationist paradigm from the 
thirties in the internet age? Your adds are shown to Japanese and 
Chinese and those from down under...

> And so onĊ   If you have a valid concern on the merits
> of this suggestion, I have not heard/seen it (apologies in
> advance if you have already provided it and I simply missed it). 
> Short of pointing me to you argument against this approach, could
> you please tell me why this would be a bad idea?

see above. You should have been present at the OECD when the 
politicians started to talk about transborder data flow and 
restrictions thereof. Knowing Internet technologies, you would have 
scratched your head. You're operating in a global market. What we 
try here is to make the thing work globally to benefit all. And no, 
I don't think somebody will be forced into something. We will have a 
clear cost/benefit analysis and decide whether we can integrate the 
EU case normally in the Specs or whether we have to take it outside. 
In the latter case, DNT will become a US specification and we'll see 
another document that profiles this for EU consumption. But before 
doing so, I try to have one solution for one web. There is a huge 
benefit in implementing once and play everywhere. There may be some 
footnotes necessary that I hope will not harm the US market. 

In fact, I said in Amsterdam: The US have to define what DNT:1 means 
and the EU folks have to define what DNT:0 means. The other probable 
distinction is that in EU landscape there will be no 1st/3rd party 
distinction, which should be a non-normative footnote as it just 
hints to law (and not creating one). 


Received on Thursday, 25 October 2012 22:56:02 UTC