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Browser UI & privacy - a discussion with Ben Laurie

From: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>
Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2012 11:54:09 +0200
Message-Id: <93518781-055B-4E42-925D-77BC458D5896@bblfish.net>
To: "public-xg-webid@w3.org XG" <public-xg-webid@w3.org>, "public-identity@w3.org" <public-identity@w3.org>
The identity groups are currently split up between public-webid, public-xg-webid
(which will now receive all mails from public-webid) and the public-identity
mailing list.

On the public-webid mailing lists we recently had a very lengthy
and detailed discussion with Ben Laurie [1], which I think is of interest
to members of these other groups. The archives are quite difficult to read [2]
so I am sending here a resume of some of the highlights. I also attached
the pdf as printed from my e-mail client as it gives color syntax highlighting,
making it much easier to follow. 

First we spent quite a lot of time I think beating around the bush of
misunderstandings. The first e-mail where things started clearing up 
was when I proposed a simple working definition of privacy after a 
philosopher friend of mine suggested that our misunderstandings might be 
related to an ambiguous and vague use of the terms. The working definition
I proposed was:

"A communication between two people is private if  the only people who
have access to the communication are the two people in question. One 
can easily generalise to groups: a conversation between groups of people 
is private (to the group) if the only people who can participate/read the 
information are members of that group..."

We then made big strides by working out where we agreed. We agree that 
transparency of identity is important at all times (which seems 
to be a potentially EU legal requirement [3]) I discover some new information 
about how Google Chrome works, and argue that it still does not satisfy the 
original transparency principles we agreed to.

After a few more exchanges I show using WebID certificates could 
lead to enhanced transparency in identity usage for browsers in the future

I hope this helps. Btw. The WebID Incubator group will be meeting at TPAC [4],
so see you there for further detailed discussions.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Laurie
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webid/2012Sep/thread.html
[3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webid/2012Oct/0021.html
[4] http://www.w3.org/2012/10/TPAC/

Received on Thursday, 4 October 2012 10:04:07 UTC

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