W3C Workshop on Web Tracking and User Privacy 28/29 April 2011, Princeton, NJ, USA

Call For Participation

A Workshop report is available.


As part of the ongoing larger online privacy debate, the discussion about online tracking (for example for behavioral advertising) and possible countermeasures has picked up a lot of momentum. This discussion has been reflected in policy papers on user privacy on the Web from the United States Federal Trade Commission and Department of Commerce.

Several vendors are offering measures that are intended to permit users to opt out of this tracking, or to prevent tracking by Web sites that are known to engage in these practices. For example:

Similar technology is deployed in a number of plugins for various browsers, including, for example, NoScript, AdBlock plus, TACO, and PrivacyChoice.

As a result of its 2011 strategic planning exercise, the W3C is reinforcing efforts in the Web privacy space, beyond its current involvement in the European PrimeLife project.

Goals and Scope

This workshop serves to establish a common view on possible Recommendation-track work in the Web privacy and tracking protection space at W3C, and on the coordination needs for such work.

The workshop is expected to attract a broad set of stakeholders, including implementers from the mobile and desktop space, large and small content delivery providers, advertisement networks, search engines, policy and privacy experts, experts in consumer protection, and other parties with an interest in Web tracking technologies, including the developers and operators of Services on the Web that make use of tracking technologies for purposes other than to behavioral advertising.

Topics for discussion include, but are not limited to:

Participation Requirements

All participants are required to submit a position paper by 25 March 2011. W3C membership is not required to participate in this workshop.

Note: Paper submission is closed at this point.

The total number of participants will be limited. To ensure diversity, a limit might be imposed on the maximum number of participants per organization.

Instructions for how to register will be sent to submitters of accepted position papers. These instructions will also indicate a possible limit on the maximum number of participants per organization.

Workshop sessions and documents will be in English. Position papers, presentations, minutes and the workshop report will be public.

There is no fee to participate.

Expression of Interest

To help the organizers plan the workshop: If you wish to participate, please as soon as possible send a message to team-privacyws-submit@w3.org with a short (one paragraph) "expression of interest" stating:

Note: Sending that expression of interest does not mean that you registered for the workshop. It is still necessary to send a position paper (see below), which then must be considered for acceptance by the Program Committee.

Position Papers

Your paper must meet the following criteria:

Based on a review of all submitted position papers, the Program Committee will select the most relevant and invite the submitters of those papers to the Workshop. From among all accepted papers, the program committee will choose a small number of papers judged most appropriate for fostering discussion, and ask the authors of those papers to give short presentations about them at the Workshop. After the workshop, those presentations will then be published on the workshop home page.

Important dates

Date Event
3 March 2011 Call for Participation issued
25 March 2011 Deadline for position papers
15 April 2011 Program released
28 April 2011 Workshop

Workshop Organization

Workshop sessions and documents will be in English.


Program Committee


The Workshop will be hosted by Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, USA. See the very detailed venue information on Center for Information Technology Policy page.


Position papers, agenda, accepted presentations, and report will also be published online.