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Re: DNT:1 and "data append"

From: Nicholas Doty <npdoty@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2013 22:26:13 -0700
Cc: "public-tracking@w3.org (public-tracking@w3.org)" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Message-Id: <920AD7D2-3163-4C73-98B5-E13782459456@w3.org>
To: Alan Chapell <achapell@chapellassociates.com>
On Mar 25, 2013, at 12:34 PM, Alan Chapell <achapell@chapellassociates.com> wrote:

> Thanks David. Perhaps this will help clarify where some of the confusion
> lay. In any event, I look forward to discussing further on Wednesday.
> 
> On 3/21/13 3:16 PM, "David Singer" <singer@apple.com> wrote:
> 
>> I remain somewhat puzzled by this discussion.  Let's see if I can explain
>> my puzzlement, and maybe the answers will help shed light.
>> 
>> DNT is an expression about privacy in an online transaction (between a
>> user and their user-agent, and a server, over HTTP or similar protocols).
> 
> I recognize that this is the position of some in the group.

Is there disagreement on this part of David's summary? The DNT HTTP header is quite directly an expression about a particular online transaction. The group agreed very early on to make the expression apply to that particular request (which an HTTP header is well-suited for) and not to imply, for example, retroactive deletion.

> It's worth
> noting that this is not how DNT is described in the charter. The charter
> describes DNT as a "preference expression mechanism ("Do Not Track") and
> technologies for selectively allowing or blocking tracking elements."
> 
> I note that we have chosen not to define tracking or "tracking elements"
> in this working group, which may be a reason for some of the confusion.

To provide some context, the text in the charter "selectively allowing or blocking tracking elements" referred to formats for determining white and black listing for blocking purposes; we did some early work on the Tracking Selection Lists specification, working from a submission from Microsoft. The group has subsequently decided to stop work on those deliverables, with the preference for not working on formats that would enable blocking.

While "Do Not Track" in the press or in the terms of some companies has been used to refer to almost any privacy or blocking measure, we have used it here (and the charter follows this convention) to refer to the preference expression mechanism -- where you express the preference "Do Not Track" -- and not to blocking mechanisms, even though lists for selectively blocking HTTP requests were also in scope of the Tracking Protection Working Group.

Hope this provides some clarity,
Nick
Received on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 05:26:21 UTC

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