Re: June Change Proposal, user agent compliance, ISSUE-172, ISSUE-194

Hi Justin,

I've create ISSUE-205 on the Compliance June product; a new issue for the topic of this change. (It may also be closely related to ISSUE-172 and ISSUE-194, as you point out, but this is more narrowly defined in case that helps manage our discussions.)

I've set up a wiki page for this proposal:
I have tried to summarize the major differences between the TPE section and the Compliance section on that page.

Via John, we have clarified that you intend to substitute or replace the text in the Tracking Compliance document with that in the Tracking Preference Expression document. I suspect that would also accommodate just making a normative reference to that section of that document, rather than duplicating the text in two places. Also, this assumes that your proposal would replace all and only the User Agent Compliance section, rather than adding to that section, or modifying any other sections of the document. Clarifications welcome (on the mailing list and on the wiki directly).


On Jun 25, 2013, at 11:43 AM, Justin Brookman <> wrote:

> I believe that that June draft is overly prescriptive on user agent compliance, and backtracks on a previous group decision to allow user agents to send DNT:1 when the user makes an explicit choice for privacy (jt also backtracks on our prior agreement to be equally prescriptive in dictating interface for setting DNT in the first place and for granting UGE/OOBC).  I propose to restate User Agent Compliance to mirror existing language in the TPE:
> The goal of this protocol is to allow a user to express their personal preference regarding tracking to each server and web application that they communicate with via HTTP, thereby allowing each service to either adjust their behavior to meet the user's expectations or reach a separate agreement with the user to satisfy all parties.
> Key to that notion of expression is that the signal sent must reflect the user's preference, not the choice of some vendor, institution, site, or any network-imposed mechanism outside the user's control; this applies equally to both the general preference and exceptions. The basic principle is that a tracking preference expression is only transmitted when it reflects a deliberate choice by the user. In the absence of user choice, there is no tracking preference expressed.
> A user agent must offer users a minimum of two alternative choices for a Do Not Track preference: unset or DNT:1. A user agent may offer a third alternative choice: DNT:0.
> If the user's choice is DNT:1 or DNT:0, the tracking preference is enabled; otherwise, the tracking preference is not enabled.
> A user agent must have a default tracking preference of unset (not enabled) unless a specific tracking preference is implied by the decision to use that agent. For example, use of a general-purpose browser would not imply a tracking preference when invoked normally as SuperFred, but might imply a preference if invoked as SuperDoNotTrack or UltraPrivacyFred. Likewise, a user agent extension or add-on must not alter the tracking preference unless the act of installing and enabling that extension or add-on is an explicit choice by the user for that tracking preference.
> A user agent extension or add-on must not alter the user's tracking preference setting unless it complies with the requirements in this document, including but not limited to this section (Determining a User Preference). Software outside of the user agent that causes a DNT header to be sent (or causes existing headers to be modified) must not do so without ensuring that the requirements of this section are met; such software also must ensure the transmitted preference reflects the individual user's preference.
> We do not specify how tracking preference choices are offered to the user or how the preference is enabled: each implementation is responsible for determining the user experience by which a tracking preference is enabled. For example, a user might select a check-box in their user agent's configuration, install an extension or add-on that is specifically designed to add a tracking preference expression, or make a choice for privacy that then implicitly includes a tracking preference (e.g., Privacy settings: high). The user-agent might ask the user for their preference during startup, perhaps on first use or after an update adds the tracking protection feature. Likewise, a user might install or configure a proxy to add the expression to their own outgoing requests.
> Although some controlled network environments, such as public access terminals or managed corporate intranets, might impose restrictions on the use or configuration of installed user agents, such that a user might only have access to user agents with a predetermined preference enabled, the user is at least able to choose whether to make use of those user agents. In contrast, if a user brings their own Web-enabled device to a library or cafe with wireless Internet access, the expectation will be that their chosen user agent and personal preferences regarding Web site behavior will not be altered by the network environment, aside from blanket limitations on what resources can or cannot be accessed through that network. Implementations of HTTP that are not under control of the user must not generate or modify a tracking preference.

Received on Wednesday, 26 June 2013 05:50:59 UTC