Re: A Contingency Plan for Winding Up the Working Group

To clarify my point at the end of today's working group call, I think there is a responsible "middle ground" here.  I, as others, believe we should endeavor to meet deadlines, however I too am concerned about the pressure of an artificial deadline being imposed that could negatively affect the outcome— in other words, we shouldn't rush to judgement on a solution that will have substantive impact on the Internet ecosystem if such a rush would jeopardize the integrity of that solution.  It took years to build the Internet into this marvelous creation of mankind— we should have some reverence for that.

The "middle ground" then becomes, let's all try hard to meet the deadline, and when we get close to it, take another look to evaluate if a bit more time is needed.  If the professional determination of the chairs AT THAT TIME becomes, "we ain't never going to get to consensus", then perhaps we move to adjournment without a solution.  If however, the chairs determine that a little more time is needed to get a good/acceptable result for all, we take that time— that's prudence.  In any case, THAT'S a decision for the future, and it must be informed by the work we do between now and the deadline.  Motivating us and moving us to a deadline is the right thing to do.  But equally, being artificially hard nosed on this deadline would be irresponsible.

I'm increasingly concerned that some members of this working group may be disingenuously motivated to kill DNT at the W3C, in hopes that if it fails at W3C, default 3rd party cookie blocking by the major browsers will become the de-facto law of the Internet.  I don't think that would be a good outcome either— so let's all put our collective noses to the grindstone and press forward in good faith for a solution— a solution that represents well thought out compromises by all involved, and yet still represents a meaningful step forward for users.


Chris Mejia | Digital Supply Chain Solutions | Ad Technology Group | Interactive Advertising Bureau - IAB

From: Alan Chapell - Chapell Associates <<>>
Date: Monday, June 17, 2013 7:00 AM
To: Jeffrey Chester <<>>, Peter Swire - W3C TPWG Co-Chair <<>>
Cc: Jonathan Mayer <<>>, David Singer <<>>, W3C DNT Working Group Mailing List <<>>
Subject: Re: A Contingency Plan for Winding Up the Working Group
Resent-From: W3C DNT Working Group Mailing List <<>>
Resent-Date: Monday, June 17, 2013 7:01 AM

Thanks Jeff.

I'd like to see us continue to work diligently towards a last call document next month. The June document circulated by Peter is a good start, but we've got a lot of work in front of us to address outstanding issues.


From: Jeffrey Chester <<>>
Date: Friday, June 14, 2013 8:30 AM
To: Peter Swire <<>>
Cc: Jonathan Mayer <<>>, David Singer <<>>, "<> Group WG" <<>>
Subject: Re: A Contingency Plan for Winding Up the Working Group
Resent-From: <<>>
Resent-Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2013 12:31:09 +0000


I agree with Jonathan.  I fear we are not meeting the expectations that global users had for a meaningful way to reduce some of the data collection and tracking which is at the core of the online marketing business model (let alone the NSA!)

While I remain committed to further discussion, it is clear there will likely be no meaningful agreement to protect user privacy (even in the very limited context we have addressed).


Center for Digital Democracy
1621 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 550
Washington, DC 20009<><>

On Jun 14, 2013, at 5:54 AM, Peter Swire wrote:

I am working with W3C colleagues to have an update about our thinking about process/schedule to you today.


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

Beginning August 2013:
Nancy J. and Lawrence P. Huang Professor
Law and Ethics Program
Scheller College of Business
Georgia Institute of Technology

From: Jonathan Mayer <<>>
Date: Friday, June 14, 2013 1:53 AM
To: David Singer <<>>
Cc: "<> Group WG" <<>>
Subject: Re: A Contingency Plan for Winding Up the Working Group
Resent-From: <<>>
Resent-Date: Friday, June 14, 2013 1:54 AM


Participants in the working group have frequently proposed agenda items and estimated consensus on issues.  I'm not sure what would be different about evaluating and adopting a contingency plan.

Moreover, there's working group precedent for contingency planning.  Some time ago members of the group proposed tabling a component of our charter, Tracking Selection Lists, for lack of consensus.  And we did.


On Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 10:26 PM, David Singer wrote:

Sent from my iPad

On Jun 13, 2013, at 9:19 PM, Jonathan Mayer <<>> wrote:


We first met to discuss Do Not Track over 2 years ago. We have now held 10 in-person meetings and 78 conference calls. We have exchanged 7,148 emails. And those boggling figures reflect just the official fora.

The group remains at an impasse.

No, alas, that is what you would like to believe, and what you tell others.

Determination of consensus, impasse, and alternative routes ahead are primarily the responsibility of the chairs.  It is perhaps kind of you to assume their role, but there is still work remaining for us mere delegates to do.

Thanks, nonetheless

We have sharpened issues, and we have made some progress on low-hanging fruit. But we still have not resolved our longstanding key disagreements, including: What information can websites collect, retain, and use? What sorts of user interfaces and defaults are compliant, and can websites ignore noncompliant browsers?

Our Last Call deadline is July 2013. That due date was initially January 2012. Then April 2012. Then June 2012. Then October 2012. We are 18 months behind schedule, with no end in sight.

There must come a stopping point. There must come a time when we agree to disagree. If we cannot reach consensus by next month, I believe we will have arrived at that time.

I would make two proposals for next Wednesday's call. First, that we commit to not punting our July deadline. If we have not attained agreement on Last Call documents, we should wind up the working group. Second, that we begin planning a responsible contingency process for winding up the working group if we miss our deadline.

Let me be clear: I am not proposing that we halt our work. I plan to continue collaborating in good faith right up until our deadline. I remain committed to Do Not Track as a uniform, persistent, easy-to-use, and effective control over collection of a consumer's browsing history. I believe a consensus Do Not Track standard is the best possible outcome for all stakeholders in the web ecosystem. But I also believe prudence dictates some planning for foreseeable alternative outcomes.


(Speaking only for himself, as usual.)

Received on Thursday, 20 June 2013 00:16:48 UTC