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Re: June Change Proposal: Definition of Tracking (ISSUE-5)

From: Thomas Roessler <tlr@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2013 23:27:15 +0200
Cc: Shane Wiley <wileys@yahoo-inc.com>, "rob@blaeu.com" <rob@blaeu.com>, Alan Chapell <achapell@chapellassociates.com>, David Singer <singer@apple.com>, "public-tracking@w3.org" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-Id: <F990FD56-7740-446A-BE9A-D66D00C9E9E1@w3.org>
To: "Edward W. Felten" <felten@CS.Princeton.EDU>
From the amendments that Jack Hobaugh submitted today:
	 http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-tracking/2013Jul/0146.html
> Amendment # 2:
> 
> Tracking is the collection and retention,  or use of a user�s browsing activity � the domains or URLs visited across non-affiliated websites -- linked to a specific user,  computer,  or device.
> 

Regards,

Thomas Roessler, W3C <tlr@w3.org> (@roessler)




On 2013-07-09, at 23:22 +0200, "Edward W. Felten" <felten@CS.Princeton.EDU> wrote:

> The definition in the DAA text is "Tracking is the collection and retention , or use, after a network interaction is complete, of data records that are, or can be, associated with of activity across non-affiliated websites linked to a specific user, user agent computer, or device."
> 
> I don't see anything in that definition that limits it to "IDs + URLs".   It seems to cover "data records that are, or can be, associated with activity ..."
> 
> 
> On Tue, Jul 9, 2013 at 2:24 PM, Shane Wiley <wileys@yahoo-inc.com> wrote:
> Rob,
> 
> This definition is too broad and therefore not likely to be implemented.  If we instead focus on tracking as being the association of a unique ID (any source - including digital fingerprints) with web activity (URLs) across non-affiliated sites - we have a foundation upon which we can build a lasting DNT standard (and one that will be implemented and advanced user privacy in a real way).
> 
> Could you please provide examples where you feel the industry definition is too narrow (IDs + URLs)?  This appears to hit right at the very heart of the concept of "online tracking" and hopefully builds a definition by which our activities can be appropriately focused.
> 
> Please keep in mind the technical side of the specification is so easy to game that we should expect rates exceeding 50% to 80% of DNT:1.
> 
> - Shane
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rob van Eijk [mailto:rob@blaeu.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, July 09, 2013 6:21 AM
> To: Alan Chapell
> Cc: David Singer; public-tracking@w3.org
> Subject: Re: June Change Proposal: Definition of Tracking (ISSUE-5)
> 
> 
> Just to let you know that the DPAs specifically ruled out fingerprinting as an alternative for cookie based tracking in the Berlin Group opinion on Web Tracking and Privacy.
> 
> Keeping a definition technology neutral is fine with me. Wishing fingerprinting is off the radar for DPAs is not a preferred move. It would be wise to include fingerprinting specifically in non-normative text, if a definition has to be part of the standard.
> 
> 
> I am proposing a new tracking defintion and non-normative text:
> 
> Tracking is any form of collection, retention, use and/or application of data that are, or can be, associated with a specific user, user agent, or device.
> 
> Non normative explanation: Tracking is not exclusively connected to unique ID cookies. Tracking includes automated real time decisions, intended to analyse or predict the personality or certain personal aspects relating to a natural person, including the analysis and prediction of the person’s health, economic situation, information on political or philosophical beliefs , performance at work, leisure, personal preferences or interests, details and patterns on behavior, detailed location or movements. Tracking is defined in a technological neutral way and includes e.g. cookie based tracking technology, active and passive fingerprinting techniques.
> 
> 
> Rob
> 
> Alan Chapell schreef op 2013-07-09 14:42:
> > Well put, David. I'm not sure we want to call out digital
> > fingerprinting specifically - technology neutral is best.
> >
> >
> > On 7/9/13 8:04 AM, "David Singer" <singer@apple.com> wrote:
> >
> >>
> >> On Jul 9, 2013, at 12:33 , Rob van Eijk <rob@blaeu.com> wrote:
> >>
> >>>
> >>>>>> well, the fingerprint is used as a key to some data storageŠ
> >>>>> What if it isn't?  What if a website collects a fingerprint and
> >>>>> then discards it?  Surely that should still be prohibited.
> >>>> So, during the transaction, the server calculates a fingerprint
> >>>> that's plausibly unique to the user, and then when the transaction
> >>>> is complete, it discards the fingerprint.  It can't now have
> >>>> anything retained that's keyed to that fingerprint, and it can't
> >>>> know if the same user visits again (fingerprint match).  I don't
> >>>> see the point, but I don't see a problem.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> Fingerprints do in may cases end up in data sets as matching
> >>> identifiers.
> >>
> >> Then data is being retained.
> >>
> >>>
> >>> Even if a fingerprint is discarded, it can facilitate the linking of
> >>> new data to already collected data.
> >>
> >> how?  if I discard the fingerprint (it's not recorded anywhere)Š
> >>
> >>> Therefore, fingerprinting is important to address when DNT:1.
> >>>
> >>> DNT:1 must cover fingerprinting based tracking equal to cookie based
> >>> tracking.
> >>
> >> DNT should cover *tracking*, and we might have comments or notes on
> >> what constitutes tracking, retention, etc., but I think it very
> >> dangerous to talk of specific technologies in the normative text.
> >>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> David Singer schreef op 2013-07-09 13:05:
> >>>> On Jul 8, 2013, at 20:46 , Jonathan Mayer <jmayer@stanford.edu>
> >>>> wrote:
> >>>>>> that could usefully be made clear (that storing information in a
> >>>>>> cookie that later should come back to you is still 'retaining'.
> >>>>> I'd prefer to focus on privacy properties, not particular
> >>>>> technical implementations.  My concern is not the use of browser
> >>>>> storage.
> >>>>> It's
> >>>>> the information flow from the browser to the website.
> >>>> Sure, my focus is on what information is retained in the sense it
> >>>> is usable by the site(s) after the transaction is over.  Where it
> >>>> is (local, cloud, client, service provider, etc.) are irrelevant.
> >>>>>>> (And what about fingerprinting, where there is no client-side
> >>>>>>> information stored?)
> >>>>>> well, the fingerprint is used as a key to some data storageŠ
> >>>>> What if it isn't?  What if a website collects a fingerprint and
> >>>>> then discards it?  Surely that should still be prohibited.
> >>>> So, during the transaction, the server calculates a fingerprint
> >>>> that's plausibly unique to the user, and then when the transaction
> >>>> is complete, it discards the fingerprint.  It can't now have
> >>>> anything retained that's keyed to that fingerprint, and it can't
> >>>> know if the same user visits again (fingerprint match).  I don't
> >>>> see the point, but I don't see a problem.
> >>>>>>> At any rate, I'm inclined to hold this (constructive!)
> >>>>>>> conversation until we decide a) to have a definition of
> >>>>>>> "tracking" and b) to make that definition normative.
> >>>>>> The june document has such, so we should make sure it's
> >>>>>> watertight.
> >>>>>> that's why I am pressing for specifics. yes, it's helpful.
> >>>>> The June draft definition is de jure normative, but de facto
> >>>>> non-normative since it isn't used anywhere.
> >>>> Indeed, I have CPs to make it used.  It's used by implication but
> >>>> not by the text.
> >>>> David Singer
> >>>> Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.
> >>
> >> David Singer
> >> Multimedia and Software Standards, Apple Inc.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Edward W. Felten
> Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs
> Director, Center for Information Technology Policy
> Princeton University                
> 609-258-5906           http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~felten
Received on Tuesday, 9 July 2013 21:27:26 UTC

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