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

On the last call Roy asked for text to clarify how EU servers should respond with a 1 or 3 tracking status.

Given that a server under an EU jurisdiction has no need to differentiate between resources designed for use in first-party or third-party contexts the current requirement for a 1 or 3 response (unless no tracking whatsoever is used) is redundant and potentially confusing for implementers. Last October I posted issue-183 which called for an "E" response in this situation. Perhaps an "A" (for "Any") might be more generally applicable. 

I suggest the following text (

<h4>Any Party (A)</h4>
<p>A tracking status of A means that the origin server makes no claim about the context the designated resource was designed for and that it conforms to at least the requirements, under this standard, of a third-party. In jurisdictions that require that all resources conform to at least the requirements of a third-party a tracking status value of 1,3 or A are equivalent.</p>


-----Original Message-----
From: Rob van Eijk [] 
Sent: 21 April 2013 17:31
To: David Singer; Jonathan Mayer; Matthias Schunter (Intel Corporation);
Subject: Re: ISSUE-161: Discussion of semantics and alternatives to "!"

Also, on a more fundamental level, my position is that ALL permitted uses in the TCS section MUST have a qualifying equivalent in the TPE section 5.4.2.


Rob van Eijk schreef op 2013-04-21 18:15:
> David wrote:
>> I think we have heard from very few people here.
> The discussion about a tracking status value of ! is useful in the 
> sense that it allows to rethink if the granular dialogue that has been 
> crafted is fit for purpose. In my opinion it is not. It makes no sense 
> to me that a company can make representations to honor DNT in e.g.
> it's DNT statement on the website and then ignore DNT by responding 
> with !. It contradicts with transparency.
> If a party representations is such that is honors DNT, the best way 
> IMHO to signal testing or debugging is not in the tracking status 
> value, but in the qualifier (TPE section 5.4.3).
> So I suggest to remove "!" in TPE section 5.2.1 and adjust the table 
> in TPE section 5.4.2 such that it links to the permitted use for 
> debugging (TCS section
> Rob
> David Singer schreef op 2013-04-21 03:56:
>> 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
>>> 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".
>> 0, 0, 0); font-family: Helvetica; font-size: medium; font-style:
>> normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing:
>> normal; line-height: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: auto;
>> text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows:
>> 2; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 0px;
>> -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px;
>> -webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; -webkit-text-size-adjust:
>> auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; "> David Singer Multimedia and 
>> Software Standards, Apple Inc.

Received on Sunday, 21 April 2013 19:19:34 UTC