AfterDawn: Tech news

Microsoft maintains 'Do Not Track' privacy standard support

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 10 Oct 2013 5:34 User comments (1)

Microsoft maintains 'Do Not Track' privacy standard support Microsoft continues to support the development of a Do Not Track standard across browsers, it has said in a public statement to the W3C.
The Redmond-giant has implemented Do Not Track (DNT) in its Internet Explorer 10 and Internet Explorer 11 browsers, but admits that DNT relies on stakeholders collectively agreeing on what DNT means and how websites should respond to the DNT signal.

The W3C's Tracking Protection Working Group aims to define a DNT standard to work across the entire industry.

As part of the ongoing process, the W3C asked members of the working group to respond to a public online poll by October 9. The Public Online poll offers five options for members to choose (they can pick more than one), which you can get more details on at:

Here is Microsoft's public comments on the poll and its support for the DNT standard:

The Microsoft participants in the TPWG believe that Options 1 and 2 provide the best path forward for the TPWG, while being open to Option 3 as a practical measure given the current status of TPE and Compliance specifications.

Microsoft's customers expect strong privacy protections to be built into our technologies, and we believe that DNT holds potential to help them better manage their online privacy. However, until stakeholders collectively agree on what DNT means and how it should be implemented, its promise will not be fully realized.

From the beginning of this TPWG process, and now with all major browsers offering users the ability to send DNT signals, there has been broad consensus that it is important to be able to explain the meaning of DNT to users in a consistent manner. In order to accomplish this, the interdependencies between TPE and Compliance documents must be aligned. In practice, this means that they should progress to CR and the corresponding call for implementations simultaneously. This rules out option 4. Since the TPE document appears to be further along, Microsoft can live with an earlier Last Call for TPE (option 3) to give more time for comments. This will be more successful if the dependencies between the documents are more clearly articulated in the TPE spec first.

At Microsoft, our preference is to work through the issues following the (long established but rarely practiced) working group decision policy [1]. Members have already devoted substantial resources to identifying specific Change Proposals during the summer, and members have continued to submit specific text proposals more recently in alignment with the call to raise and document issues by mid-October. We should work through these Change Proposals via the decision policy. We felt that this process worked well in settling highly contentious issues in the HTML Working Group from which some of the principles were drawn. Further, we believe that it is important to adopt a predictable work schedule that also echoes the HTML WG style: once an issue enters the process for consideration and filing of counter proposals, there are clear predictable deadlines that avoid surprising members of the group. As part of that process, we acknowledge that members may identify issues that should be deferred to DNT 2.0, but we are concerned that attempting to identify topics for DNT 2.0 planning in advance will slow down substantive discussions.

Following the decision policy will be key to implementing the proposed plan (option 1) and it is important that everybody understands this process. In the HTML WG, there was the opportunity for people to raise issues and seek clarifications against the decision policy, and this helped to refine both the description of the process and its implementation. One recommendation we have is to invite the HTML WG chairs to a TPWG telcon to discuss their experience with the HTML WG process and to answer any questions members have.

A final, meaningful DNT standard will help build greater trust across the Internet ecosystem and we look forward to continue working together to achieve this goal.

Previous Next  

1 user comment

110.10.2013 13:49

I you like sites that have a do not track policy then you may be interested in the following site: Ravetree (social network), DuckDuckGo (search engine), and HushMail (email service).

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive