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Re: Action 368 - Definition of Service Provider/Data Processor

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2013 00:22:52 -0700
Cc: Tracking Protection Working Group <public-tracking@w3.org>, Peter Swire <peter@peterswire.net>
Message-Id: <C028CA08-9F9B-446F-893A-5E4B7318C477@gbiv.com>
To: Chris Pedigo <CPedigo@online-publishers.org>
I have been trying to get back to this discussion since I was
unavailable the week it came up ... but to no avail so far.
We should stop using the term service provider because it
is so obviously confusing and use either "data controller"
or "contractor" instead.

The addition of business associate here doesn't help -- it just
makes it worse because the way this is defined is opposite to how
it is defined within HIPAA (IIRC, the business associate is the
service provider in HIPAA, not the customer of the service provider).

The last normative paragraph ("may merge and use data") is backwards.
A service provider almost always collects data on behalf of all of
its customers via a single stream. Once received, the incoming
data stream is processed per HTTP request: first to conform
to applicable regional requirements and then to the specific
requirements of the request target (which identifies the party).
Finally, any results or retained data from that processing is
siloed per party (customer of the SP).

Prior to that separation process, there might be raw logfiles,
short-term debugging traces, and aggregate statistical counters
based on the combined incoming stream, as is true of any Internet
service run at this scale, for the sole purpose of keeping the
service alive and estimating capacity.  Aside from active debugging
or keeping a confidential record of actual security/systemic failure
incidents, I would expect SPs to delete or de-identify such data
before it could be retained long-term (more than a few days) or
shared with anyone outside the operations team, and only when
that is permitted by the respective data controllers.

I don't see DNT:1 changing the above, since it is not subject
to the user's preferences.  Moreover, I think it should be
assumed that an SP can do anything permitted of the party for
which it is contracting so long as the resulting data is
controlled by that party.

Naturally, the incoming data stream is never seen by the SP's
customers -- each party only has restricted access to its own data
after the separation process, and usually has some sort of
dashboard-level visibility into the aggregate statistical counts.

With regards to text changes, I think the existing text in the
compliance section 3.4:

  Outsourced service providers are considered to be the same party
  as their clients if the outsourced service providers only act as
  data processors on behalf of that party in relation to that party,
  silo the data so that it cannot be accessed by other parties,
  and have no control over the use or sharing of that data except
  as directed by that party. 

is better than the proposed changes but still needs some tweaks
once we agree on what terms to use for both the SP and the customer
of SP.  The current use of "clients" here to mean customers is
ambiguous with HTTP's clients, I am not sure what
"on behalf of that party in relation to that party" means (perhaps
a paste-o?), and "silo the data so that it cannot be accessed by
other parties" is overly restrictive.  For example, the data is
siloed per customer (data controller), but access is controlled
by the data controller; thus, a customer might provide that access
to some other parties, such as other contractors that have been
paid to analyze the collected data.

Unfortunately, I will have to take an action on that (due next
week) if I need to propose exact text for the draft.

....Roy

On Mar 6, 2013, at 8:13 AM, Chris Pedigo wrote:

> Based on comments from last week’s call, I’ve edited the proposed definition for Service Provider/Data Processor and added the beginnings of some non-normative text.  Edits and additions are in italics.
>  
> Action 368 – Definition of Service Provider/Data Processor
>  
> Normative
>  
> A Data Processor is any party, in a specific network interaction, that both operates on behalf of the entity for which it is working (business associate) and meets the following conditions: 
> - Data that is collected and/or retained is separated by both technical means and organizational process, AND
> - Uses and shares data only as directed by the business associate, AND
> - Enters into a contract with a business associate that outlines and mandates these requirements.
>  
> A Data Processor is subject to the same restrictions as the business associate.  If a Data Processor were to violate any of these conditions, it will then be a third party.  Data processors may merge and use data for the purposes of security or fraud prevention.
>  
> Non-Normative
>  
> Data processors may use data collected for the proper management and administration of the business associate.  Similar allowances are made for data processors under European Union law, the U.S Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the U.S. Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.
>  
>  
> From: Chris Pedigo [mailto:CPedigo@online-publishers.org] 
> Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 10:36 AM
> To: Tracking Protection Working Group
> Cc: Peter Swire
> Subject: Action 368 - Definition of Service Provider/Data Processor
>  
> Hello all, I worked with Vinay Goel to come up with a definition of Service Provider/Data Processor.  We also solicited feedback from Justin Brookman and Rigo Wenning.  Below is the normative text that we ultimately decided upon.  One of the discussions centered around whether service providers or data processors should be allowed to utilize the Permitted Uses.  We decided not to include that language, because it would not fly in the EU and because it does not appear to be common practice among service providers in the US.  Finally, I am still gathering feedback from my member companies.  So, while expect this language will work for publishers, I am reserving the right to come back with tweaks.  Looking forward to today’s call and the ensuing discussion.
>  
> Action 368 – Definition of Service Provider/Data Processor
>  
> A Data Processor is any party, in a specific network interaction, that both operates on behalf of another party and meets the following conditions: 
> - Data that is collected and/or retained is separated by both technical means and organizational process, AND
> - Uses and shares data only as directed by that other party, AND
> - Enters into a contract with the other party that outlines and mandates these requirements.
>  
> A Data Processor is subject to the same restrictions as the other party.  If a Data Processor were to violate any of these conditions, it will then be a third party.
>  
>  
> Chris Pedigo
> VP, Government Affairs
> Online Publishers Association
> (202) 744-2967
Received on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 07:23:48 UTC

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