W3C Announces Peter Swire as new Co-Chair for Do Not Track Standard

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28 November 2012 — Today the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announces the appointment of Peter Swire as co-Chair of the Tracking Protection Working Group. The group is working to define the Do Not Track protocol, and to establish agreement about what compliance with the Do Not Track signal will mean in practice. A law professor at the Ohio State University and veteran of the Clinton and Obama administrations (in the US), Swire brings significant experience in consensus-building and broad expertise on privacy matters to the table.

"W3C's Do Not Track process is designed to foster an Internet that users globally can trust," said Swire, "with consumer choice, transparency about privacy practices, and continued innovation that brings diverse content to all those who use the Internet."

The Tracking Protection Working Group is chartered to seek a consensus-based solution for Do Not Track, part of W3C’s work on a complete Open Web Platform. Participants represent the advertising and publishing ecosystems, browser makers, consumer groups, relevant governmental agencies and other stakeholders.

"A global Do Not Track standard will enable Web sites to honor consumers' privacy preferences, while maintaining technical flexibility and supporting innovation," said Thomas Roessler, W3C Technology and Society Domain Lead. "We look forward to Peter Swire’s broadly respected leadership on this project."

Swire will lead the group’s work on the compliance aspects of the Do Not Track. In this role, he replaces Aleecia M. McDonald, who is stepping down. Matthias Schunter (Intel) will continue to co-chair the group, focusing on the Do Not Track protocol specification.

About the World Wide Web Consortium

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. The Open Web Platform Open Web Platform is a current major focus. Over 375 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan, and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see http://www.w3.org/

Media Contacts

Ian Jacobs, <ij@w3.org>, +1.718.260.9447

Participant Quotes for "W3C Announces Peter Swire as new Co-Chair for Do Not Track Standard"

Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) · Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) · Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) · Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) · Microsoft · Mozilla

Center for Digital Democracy (CDD)

As has been reported, Aleecia McDonald from Mozilla will step down today as Co-Chair of the W3C’s Tracking Protection Working Group. Peter Swire, a highly regarded law professor specializing in privacy, will replace her. Read the original blog post

Jeffrey Chester, CDD

Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA)

The DAA [Digital Advertising Alliance] welcomes the appointment of Peter Swire as chair of the W3C [World Wide Web Consortium] Tracking Protection Working Group. Peter is a serious lawyer and practical professional who I have known for many years. With Peter’s involvement, I anticipate that the W3C process will focus more specifically on technical standards setting, rather than public policy creation. A challenge that has faced W3C DNT [Do Not Track] working group has been its foray into the broader area of public policy development, an area that extends beyond its more traditional technological expertise. Peter should be able to help the W3C better define and navigate the lines of technology standard setting and its relationship to public policy development. Read the original post.

Stu Ingis, Counsel to DAA

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

While we've enjoyed working with McDonald through the multi-stakeholder process and are sorry to see her move on, we look forward to working with Swire on hammering out powerful standards for protecting online privacy. (Read the full blog post.)

Lee Tien, Senior Staff Attorney, EFF

Future of Privacy Forum (FPF)

Best of luck to FPF Senior Fellow and the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Professor Peter Swire, as he takes on the effort to forge a practical solution for Do Not Track. Peter's experience and his evenhanded approach to forging privacy solutions makes him uniquely qualified to take on this challenge.

Jules Polonetsky and Christopher Wolf, Co-Chairmen, Future of Privacy Forum


Microsoft congratulates Mr. Swire on this appointment and commends him for his leadership in the area of privacy. We also would like to thank Aleecia McDonald for her substantial contribution to the W3C Tracking Protection Working Group. Microsoft remains committed to the W3C process and will continue to work with participants to make it productive and successful for all.

Brendon Lynch, Chief Privacy Officer, Microsoft


Peter Swire brings considerable expertise and insight in law, technology and policy to this new role as co-chair of the W3C Tracking Protection Working Group. I've seen how Peter works over the years and have always been impressed with his ability to bring stakeholders together, break through political quagmires, and move forward in a balanced manner.

Do Not Track has come a long way since its origins as a Firefox add-on: every major browser has enabled it, Web standard-bearers such as Twitter support it, the White House, FTC and European Commission have championed it, and above all, millions of users are choosing to activate it today.

Mozilla believes the W3C Tracking Protection Working Group is still the right forum for a meaningful Do Not Track standard, and we'll remain actively engaged to provide the choice and control millions of Web users are asking for today.

Aleecia McDonald played a significant role in co-leading the W3C effort on Do Not Track. Mozilla is grateful for her ongoing contributions to such an important initiative, and we wish her all the best in her new position at Stanford.

Alex Fowler, Global Privacy and Public Policy Leader, Mozilla

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