[PET] Apache Webserver Update Ignores IE10 Privacy Settings

Aleecia M. McDonald aleecia at aleecia.com
Wed Sep 19 20:04:09 BST 2012

On Sep 19, 2012, at 9:25 AM, Paul Syverson <syverson at itd.nrl.navy.mil> wrote:

> I believe another prominent member of the PETs community who I shan't
> name was recently joking (or not?) about giving an invited talk on DNT
> with no shirt on and "Do not look at my chest" written on his chest.

One PETS regular sarcastically dismissed DNT as the "don't be evil" bit when he first heard the idea, but rapidly came around to seeing it would be more than a Pretty Please approach. Companies voluntarily choose to adopt DNT, and then are held to the promise they make. In the US, that means FTC enforcement. In that regard, it's like the way privacy policies work. But where privacy policies are "say what you will do, and do that," DNT is a bundle of things, as in "here is a minimum baseline to follow if you want to claim DNT compliance." 

In the US, we have a Do Not Call list. From a PETS perspective, Do Not Call is imperfect in that it does not have a technical mechanism to stop telemarketing calls. Sure, enforcement matters. The name Do Not Call is overly broad, in that it does not stop all calls (yikes!) or even stop all solicitations. For example, there are carve-outs for businesses with existing relationships, charity, and political campaigns. But for all that it is Do Not Call* with fine print to go with the *, Do Not Call does give people more control.

Neither Do Not Call nor Do Not Track will cure cancer. And yes, the over-claims are frustrating to read, both in the press and in a few research papers where the authors believe they know what DNT is, and company X is violating DNT. As you can no doubt tell, we are into the political layer here too.

Like Do Not Call, with DNT, I expect user choice and control will advance, fine print and all. Some DNT details are still under vigorous debate, but the overall shape is becoming clear.

	/* personal opinions only; not speaking for Mozilla, Stanford, or in any capacity for the Tracking Protection Working Group */
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