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DNT Group Sticks With 'June Draft,' Rejects Web Marketers' Tracking Substitute

Publication Date: 
July 17, 2013
Source: 
Electronic Commerce & Law Report - BNA
Author: 
David McAuley

Aleecia McDonald, director of privacy at the Center for Internet and Society, spoke with David McAuley of Electronic Commerce & Law Report - BNA on why the DNT private sector group turned down the DAA proposal and what the group's options are moving forward.

The private sector group working to draft a Do-Not-Track (DNT) web browser privacy standard has turned down a marketing industry proposal that would have permitted targeted internet ads regardless of a user's DNT preferences.

Peter Swire, of the Ohio State University's Moritz School of Law, and Matthias Schunter, of Intel Corporation, co-chairs of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Tracking Protection Working Group, said July 15 that debate over whether to use the industry proposal or the so-called “June Draft” as the base text for the group's further work was now closed.

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"There are times where there is simply no consensus to be found."

Aleecia McDonald

Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society

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In addition, former group co-chair Aleecia McDonald, director of privacy at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society, told the group that the DAA proposal failed to meet the group's charter directive to improve user privacy and control.

McDonald told BNA that the DAA proposal had a serious shortcoming in that, “companies could still build profiles about your online interests, show targeted ads to you, and sell data about you—including your name and phone number—just so long as the precise URL you visited got tossed away.”

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McDonald told BNA after the group's July 17 conference call that Swire acknowledged there will not be a full draft for last call in July. That leaves three options, according to McDonald.

First, the working group could publish what it has as an editor's draft and keep working to a last call draft over a longer time.

Another option would be to focus in the next two weeks on “must-address” issues and publish a last call document with several remaining issues to address after last call.

Finally, McDonald said, the working group could publish what they have and then close the group down. “There are times where there is simply no consensus to be found,” she said.