Feeds

W3C announces web-tracking privacy protection group

Google, Opera do not back Do Not Track

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has announced the creation of a Tracking Protection Working Group to address online privacy concerns, but the task of getting all the players to agree on what standards should be adopted could yet be a sticking point.

It said the group had ambitious plans to publish standards as early as mid-2012.

The first meeting of the collective takes place on 21-22 September.

"Our task here is to deliver a set of standards that enables individuals to express their preferences and choices about online tracking, and enables transparency concerning online tracking activities for users and the public alike," said the W3C in a blog post yesterday.

"Mechanisms that enable the enforcement of these preferences will be another important element of the work. At the same time, many business models on the web as we know it rely heavily on advertising revenue."

The group noted that data watchdogs in Europe and the US were asking online publishers and advertisers to agree on a so-called Do-Not-Track standard.

Microsoft and Mozilla have already been working on what some might consider to be "technical solutions" to the problem many netizens have with being tracked by ad outfits online.

The W3C said that Microsoft and Mozilla's proposals would provide the basis for the group's work.

However, as is so often the case with establishing standards industry-wide, not everyone agrees on the Do-Not-Track mechanism that's already available, for example, in Mozilla's Firefox 6 browser.

Google and Opera Software don't support DNT.

"A critical element of the group's success will be broad-based participation: we look forward to having browser vendors, search engines, advertising networks, regulators, civil society actors, and many other interested parties involved in the work that we'll do," said the W3C.

The Tracking Protection collective has taken on a pair of "industry-sponsored co-chairs" to lead the group.

It said that Aleecia M McDonald, who recently joined Mozilla as senior privacy researcher, had signed up to the task.

However, the other chair remains anonymous for now. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
Comcast exec: No, we haven't banned Tor. I use it. You're probably using it
Keep in mind if, say, your Onion browser craps out on Xfinity
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.