Vocabulary issues -- primary data uses

The following is a proposal for future work on P3P submitted following the November 2002 Workshop on the Future of P3P

A number of somewhat vague concerns have been raised about the P3P vocabulary, especially with regards to the lack of granularity it provides for expressing the primary purpose for which data is collected. The P3P vocabulary focuses on secondary purposes rather than primary purposes because these are the purposes that it was thought users would want their agents to consider in automated decision-making. However, companies have indicated a desire to express primary purposes as well, and primary purposes are likely to be useful for back end processing.

Without changing the P3P specification, sites can use the CONSEQUENCE element to explain their primary data uses. Perhaps the specification might be clarified to make this clear. Companies developing back-end P3P-related products might develop their own vocabulary for primary data uses and use the P3P extension mechanism to integrate it into P3P policies. Once such a vocabulary is put forward, W3C should consider whether or not a version of it should be standardized in a future version of P3P or as a stand-alone W3C specification.

Except in the area of EU Directive compliance and agent relationships, no other specific vocabulary issues have been raised. Thus, it seems premature to undergo a complete review of the P3P vocabulary at this time.

My recommendation is that the next P3P working group be chartered to consider suggestions to clarify the meaning and use of existing P3P vocabulary elements and vocabulary changes to address the specific concerns that have been raised that may impact P3P implementation and adoption. A deadline should be set for raising vocabulary-related issues for consideration in the P3P1.1 timeframe.

Should a future P3P working group be chartered following the P3P1.1 work, that group might take on a more thorough review and possible overhaul of the P3P vocabulary.

Lorrie Cranor

Last update $Date: 2003/03/17 09:50:38 $ by $Author: rigo $