Edit ISSUE-108: Should/could the tracking preference expression be extended to other protocols beyond HTTP?

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Related emails:

  1. Re: Agenda for July 18, 2012 DNT WG Call on TPE (from fielding@gbiv.com on 2012-07-18) (from fielding@gbiv.com on 2012-07-18)
  2. Issues mentioned in the TPE document, or non-closed in the database and applying to TPE (from singer@apple.com on 2012-04-10) (from singer@apple.com on 2012-04-10)
  3. Issue Cleanup for TPE Document (from mts@zurich.ibm.com on 2012-03-06) (from mts@zurich.ibm.com on 2012-03-06)
  4. Non-HTTP Protocols (ISSUE-108, ACTION-96) (from jmayer@stanford.edu on 2012-01-26) (from jmayer@stanford.edu on 2012-01-26)
  5. Re: tracking-ISSUE-117: Terms: tracking v. cross-site tracking [Tracking Definitions and Compliance] (from fielding@gbiv.com on 2012-01-20) (from fielding@gbiv.com on 2012-01-20)
  6. diff of TPE editing since the FPWD (from fielding@gbiv.com on 2012-01-10) (from fielding@gbiv.com on 2012-01-10)
  7. ISSUE-108: Should/could the tracking preference expression be extended to other protocols beyond HTTP? (from sysbot+tracker@w3.org on 2011-12-21) (from sysbot+tracker@w3.org on 2011-12-21)

Related notes:

See the minutes of the 21 Dec 2011 call for context. One possible approach discussed: our work is designed to apply to all HTTP communications (including mobile apps) and may additionally be applied to additional protocols (ex: SPDY). While we design for HTTP, there is nothing to prevent other protocols from adopting the approaches, definitions, etc. we work out.

Aleecia McDonald, 27 Dec 2011, 22:20:37

Added in 1.73 (dsinger) and then revised in 1.76 to read:

4.4 Tracking Preference Expressed in Other Protocols

A user's tracking preference is intended to apply in general, regardless of the protocols being used for Internet communication. However, the protocol expressed here is specific to HTTP communication. The same semantics might be expressed via other protocols, but those protocols are outside the scope of this current effort. This does not suggest that it would be okay to track via other protocols when it is known that the user's preference is for no tracking. Expressing the tracking preference via other protocols is a subject for future work.

Roy Fielding, 27 Feb 2012, 08:47:51

Editors made changes since the last review.

Roy Fielding, 29 Feb 2012, 01:12:11

[It now say the following, but note that the editors believe the last part may belong in the compliance spec.]

4.4 Tracking Preference Expressed in Other Protocols

A user's tracking preference is intended to apply in general, regardless of the protocols being used for Internet communication. The protocol expressed here is specific to HTTP communication; however, the semantics are not restricted to use in HTTP; the same semantics may be carried by other protocols, either in future revisions of this specification, or in other specifications.

When it is known that the user's preference is for no tracking, compliant services are still required to honor that preference, even if other protocols are used. For example, re-directing to another protocol in order to avoid receipt of the header is not compliant.

Roy Fielding, 29 Feb 2012, 01:14:31


Matthias Schunter <matthias.schunter@intel.com>, Chair, Bert Bos <bert@w3.org>, Staff Contact
Tracker: documentation, (configuration for this group), originally developed by Dean Jackson, is developed and maintained by the Systems Team <w3t-sys@w3.org>.
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