Re: ISSUE-161: Discussion of semantics and alternatives to "!"

On Apr 21, 2013, at 2:42 , Jonathan Mayer <> wrote:

> On Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 1:43 AM, David Singer wrote:
>> On Apr 19, 2013, at 13:02 , Jonathan Mayer <> wrote:
>>> David,
>>> I disfavor having any selective noncompliance flag.  I'm open to the idea of a debugging/testing/phasing-in flag, but it would have to be narrowly scoped (e.g. specific uses and limited duration) and explicitly disallowed as a basis for claiming Do Not Track protocol or policy compliance.
>> well, the specific use is for when a site is not yet ready to claim compliance; why would the duration need a formal limit?
> A website might repurpose an indefinite debugging/testing/phasing-in flag as a de facto selective non-compliance flag.  I'd like to mitigate that possibility.

I don't understand the "selective" in your sentence.

>> yes, agreed, the documentation needs to state that the use of this flag is a declaration that compliance is not claimed.
>> * * * *
>> On 'I am Disregarding you', I am trying to work out your alternative in my mind.  It seems that if there are going to be sites that will ignore DNT signals, you would prefer a state in which they could say nothing, and signal nothing, unless someone finds out (and how would they)?  The site could, if challenged, say "we decided to ignore signals we deemed non-compliant".  The user, unable to see that their data is being added to a database, is none the wiser, the privacy researcher is unaware, and so on.  Is this really better?
> If a website claimed to support Do Not Track but surreptitiously ignored certain DNT: 1 signals, it could face grave legal, business, and media consequences.  

"…if it is found out, and they don't successfully argue that they can be non-compliant in response to what they believe are non-compliant signals"

> As for detection, there are a number of technical options that I'd be glad to discuss.
> For what it's worth, note the lineup of stakeholders on this issue: it's not the advocates, regulators, and researchers clamoring for a selective noncompliance signal.  It's the websites that want to practice selective noncompliance.

I think we have heard from very few people here.  I suggested it, since I like transparency.  Shane accepted it, and almost no-one else has said anything.

For what it's worth, I don't think it's OK to practice selective non-compliance, unless forced.  But I do support transparency.  Yes, they may be trying to 'soften the blow' by not being accused of lying to users as well as not always complying.  "Yes, it's true we don't always observe DNT signals, but we're up front about it".

David Singer
Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.

Received on Sunday, 21 April 2013 01:57:14 UTC