Re: Next Public TCS Working Draft and non-normative text

John:  Thank you for this question -- it is important, clearly, to have non-normative text where it is essential.

Here are some of my thoughts on non-normative text, and then I will make a suggestion.  As an overall matter, I believe that our lead-up to the F2F will work best if most of the focus is on normative text.  That gives us a manageable number of things to work on.  It gives us a chance to include or exclude things without having to go through too many words.  If we develop "packages" of provisions, which are workable for multiple parts of the stakeholder group, it will work best to have the focus on the normative text.

I have two caveats on that idea.  First, as we discussed last week and as John mentions, the non-normative text on de-identification is important to its overall meeting.  We have discussed various ways to address this concern, and I believe that resolution of that topic is important to the overall shape of what we write.  Second, there may be other places where people consider non-normative text essential.

My suggestion is that members of the group write to the list if there is non-normative text that they believe is essential for the discussions at the F2F.  Hopefully, we will have an overall package of normative text well toward complete coming out of the F2F.  Then, the period until last call by July can offer us chances to draft and polish non-normative text for the provisions that are in the spec at that point.

Those are my thoughts on how to stage our work on non-normative text.  We can discuss on the call on Wednesday.


Professor Peter P. Swire
C. William O'Neill Professor of Law
    Ohio State University

From: John Simpson <<>>
Date: Monday, April 15, 2013 5:48 PM
To: Peter Swire <<>>
Cc: "<> (<>)" <<>>, Justin Brookman <<>>
Subject: Next Public TCS Working Draft and non-normative text

Hi Peter,

I am assuming you are planning another Public Working Draft of the TCS specification before the next F2F.  I was wondering how you are intending to handle non-normative text?

I understand the concern that too much non-normative text can clutter the specification and make it difficult to read.  However, I think current editor's "bare-bones" draft has cut material that is essential to understand what the normative text means.  In other word's I think there must be some use cases and explanation of how they would relate to the normative text.

For example, I think how de-identified text is handled is perhaps one of the best paths forward towards consensus.  We currently have the following normative text in the TCS:
"Deidentified Data

"Data is deidentified when a party:

"(1) has taken measures to ensure with a reasonable level of justified confidence that the data cannot be used to infer information about, or otherwise be linked to, a particular consumer, computer, or other device;

"(2) does not to try to reidentify the data; and

" (3) contractually prohibits downstream recipients from trying to re-identify the data.

I don't think you can understand what the normative text requires without non-normative explanation.  It's not essential to cite every possible use case, but at least some guidance for implementers is needed.
Will we be putting essential non-normative text back into the next Public Working draft?

Best regards,

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

Received on Tuesday, 16 April 2013 01:36:17 UTC