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Re: W3C TAG position on policy mechanisms for Web APIs and Services

From: ashok malhotra <ashok.malhotra@oracle.com>
Date: Wed, 06 Jan 2010 10:58:24 -0800
Message-ID: <4B44DD50.5040007@oracle.com>
To: Frederick Hirsch <frederick.hirsch@nokia.com>
CC: www-tag@w3.org, W3C Device APIs and Policy WG <public-device-apis@w3.org>
Hi Frederick:
I think you are saying that users want a trusted agent to enforce 
privacy.  Where is that trusted agent?
Is this correct?
All the best, Ashok

Frederick Hirsch wrote:
> Dear Noah and TAG members:
> The Device APIs and Policy Working Group understands the importance 
> of  privacy. The DAP WG  would like to ensure that privacy concerns 
> are respected with the additional data that Web developers may obtain 
> using DAP APIs. At the same time we recognize the importance of 
> simplicity, ease of adoption, and the limit of the WG scope to API and 
> policy development (and not the creation of an infrastructure).
> The DAP WG is only beginning to consider the privacy topic and would 
> appreciate all help it can obtain from anyone that can help us 
> achieve  a good practical  result in a reasonable time. Our initial 
> starting point will be to examine the decision of the Geolocation 
> Working Group in more detail. This decision was *not* to include 
> privacy rules as part of the API.  That decision is documented with 
> the following  Geolocation WG resolution:
> " If the proposal [to include policy rules as part of the API] was 
> adopted, the browsers would end up showing the user an interface that 
> appears to be a user-agent enforced privacy preference panel.  
> However, since the privacy information is provided by the website, 
> there is no way for the user-agent to ensure that the claims made by 
> the website are actually true. This could result in the users being 
> mislead by a  user-agent prompt. This would break the separation 
> between the user-agent UI (which users trust) and the site content 
> (which users don't necessarily trust) and would therefore undermine 
> the user's trust in the user-agent, with extremely severe consequences 
> for Web security."
> http://www.w3.org/2008/geolocation/track/issues/10
> While we intend to look at each of the assertions made in that 
> resolution and see if and how they would apply to our own set of  
> APIs, we would very much welcome the TAG’s perspective on that 
> resolution.
> We would also appreciate TAG input on how the DAP WG can address 
> privacy  concerns while limiting the scope to the API and policy 
> aspects of its charter, and not presuming or creating a surrounding 
> infrastructure.
> Thank you.
> Regards,
> On behalf of the DAP WG
> Frederick Hirsch and Robin Berjon, Co-Chairs
> Note, This should fulfill DAP ACTION-73 (for Tracker's benefit)
> On Dec 4, 2009, at 10:33 AM, ext noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com wrote:
>> To: The W3C Device APIs and Policy Working Group
>> The W3C Policy Languages Interest Group maintains a Wiki [1] which
>> contains real world cases where personal information has been 
>> compromised
>> due to inadequate policy or poor/nonexistent enforcement. One of these
>> cases describes how Virgin Mobile used photos that it found on Flickr 
>> in a
>> national advertising program.  The photos appeared on large billboards,
>> much to the surprise of the owner and the subject.
>> In the public mind, issues related to the management and protection of
>> user information in Web Applications, Device access over the Web and
>> Services provided over the Web loom large and must be addressed.  The 
>> TAG,
>> therefore, urges working groups working in these areas to include in 
>> their
>> architectures the ability to communicate policy information so that 
>> it can
>> be used to determine correct access to and retention of user data and
>> resources. Addressing these concerns should be a requirement, 
>> although the
>> details of how they are addressed may vary by application. For 
>> example, a
>> working group might provide mechanisms for including policy 
>> information in
>> API calls in a flexible manner, perhaps by using some more generalized
>> extensibility mechanism.
>> We note that there has been some dialog in this area.  In particular, 
>> the
>> IETF GeoPriv Working Group has requested [2] the W3C Geolocation Working
>> Group to add additional support for user privacy. There is a discussion
>> thread on this subject on the Geolocation Mailing list [3].
>> Thank you very much.
>> Noah Mendelsohn
>> For the W3C Technical Architecture Group
>> [1] http://www.w3.org/Policy/pling/wiki/InterestingCases
>> [2]
>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-geolocation/2009Aug/0006.html
>> [3]
>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-geolocation/2009Jun/thread.html#msg98 
>> P.S. Tracker:  this should fulfill TAG ACTION-318
>> --------------------------------------
>> Noah Mendelsohn
>> IBM Corporation
>> One Rogers Street
>> Cambridge, MA 02142
>> 1-617-693-4036
>> --------------------------------------
Received on Wednesday, 6 January 2010 19:00:22 UTC

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