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Bug 224 - should we allow more than one ENTITY?
Summary: should we allow more than one ENTITY?
Alias: None
Product: P3P
Classification: Unclassified
Component: User agent behavior (show other bugs)
Version: unspecified
Hardware: Other other
: P2 normal
Target Milestone: P3P1.1
Assignee: Rigo Wenning
QA Contact:
Depends on:
Reported: 2003-06-12 15:04 UTC by Lorrie Cranor
Modified: 2004-01-22 17:51 UTC (History)
0 users

See Also:


Description Lorrie Cranor 2003-06-12 15:04:03 UTC
The current P3P syntax does not prohibit sites from declaring multiple duplicate entity 
fields, and effectively having multiple entity elements. However, there is no grouping 
mechanism, so user agents do not know how to display this information. W3C is an 
example of a site that is declaring multiple entity fields (we haven't seen others). We may 
want to recommend to the full WG that we (a) prohibit multiple ENTITY elements, or (b) 
add some sort of grouping mechanism and/or advice user agents what to do if a site has 
multiple ENTITY elements. Technically, it is probably easier to prohibit this. Some UA 
task force members also felt it was confusing to users to see multiple entities and that 
one entity should be designated to be listed. Rigo was concerned that in the case of a 
consortium or joint venture, multiple entities might be equally responsible. Dave said that 
the entity element doesn't indicate responsibility, only who the speaker is, and that it is 
common for joint ventures to designate a single entity as spokesperson. Rigo also said it 
would be convenient for users to see contact information in multiple countries so they 
could pick the phone number to call where they were likely to get someone who speaks 
their language. But others pointed out that ENTITY is not supposed to be used as a way 
for consumers to contact a company -- just a way to identify who the company is. The 
disputes element is used for contacting, and it allows multiple addresses to be listed.
Comment 1 Lorrie Cranor 2003-06-30 13:07:09 UTC
On the 30 June 2003 UA task force call the group recommends adding the following 
language to section 3.2.4 The ENTITY element:

Although it is permissable for a particular DATA element to appear
more than once within a single ENTITY element, this is not
recommended as user agents may not display multiple instances of a
DATA element correctly. Policy writers who wish to indicate multiple
points of contact for customer service at a web site should use the
DISPUTES element, which is designed to have  multiple instances.
Comment 2 Lorrie Cranor 2003-07-30 13:33:56 UTC
The proposed new language was adopted by the working group