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December 17, 2011 / Kirsty Pitkin

IWMW Plenary 7: Online Privacy

  1. Raggett: You become the product the websites are selling #iwmw11 #p7
  2. Setting the Scene


    Dave began by providing an overview of the current situation relating to cookies and online privacy, including where these issues rank in relation to other global concerns.

  3. Raggett: 80% of browsers could be identified without using any cookies according to Electronic Fronteir Foundation #iwmw11 #p7
  4. Raggett: There is a proliferation of ways to store data in the browser, including HTML 5 local storage and flash cookies #iwmw11 #p7
  5. Raggett: Advertising is now using a profiling model using 3rd party cookies to provide detailed tracking of users across the web #iwmw11 #p7
  6. Raggett: Quoting Russell Glass: "nobody cares about online privacy because they’re worried about the economy & terrorism" #iwmw11 #p7
  7. Aiding Privacy

    Dave discussed the work of the EU PrimeLife project and outlined some of the tools and initiatives that have emerged to help users manage their online privacy.  

  8. Raggett: We have seen the emergence of browser extensions for privacy that block ads and inhibit cookies #iwmw11 #p7
  9. Raggett: Describing the Privacy Dashboard, which helps you to see how websites are tracking you & adjust your settings as you go #iwmw11 #p7
  10. Raggett: Privacy Dashboard gives you a diagnosis of a webpage telling you what cookies and third parties are tracking you #iwmw11 #p7
  11. Raggett: W3C’s has organised workshops relating to privacy and technical working groups to support privacy by design #iwmw11 #p7
  12. Regulation


    Dave highlighted some of the issues associated with regulation in this area, including the lack of clarity surrounding the wording of new legislation and the agendas of advertisers, who push for self-regulation.

  13. Raggett: The advertising industry would like us to believe that self-regulation is the way. But is it? #iwmw11 #p7
  14. Raggett: There is a better need for regulation and better tools #iwmw11 #p7
  15. Raggett: The definition of "do not track" is not 100% clear – people push the definition depending on their interests #iwmw11 #p7
  16. Raggett: Self-regulatory efforts are like a patchwork, which is a real problem in itself, and covering cookies is not enough #iwmw11 #p7
  17. Raggett: The E-Privacy Directive appears to only apply to cookies – but its not clear. #iwmw11 #p7
  18. Users


    Dave was keen to put these issues into context by considering them from the users’ perspective, noting that many of the suggested solutions so far do not support the average user in a realistic manner.

  19. Raggett: Most users do not want to touch the browser settings, but do not track is opt in by default #iwmw11 #p7
  20. Raggett: You shouldn’t arm-twist users into an agreement that is to their detriment #iwmw11 #p7
  21. Technical Issues

    To conclude, Dave outlined some of the technical issues that have yet to be resolved if cookies are to be used practically to add value, without infringing privacy.

  22. Raggett: There is no good machine-readable way to identify what a cookie is being used for. Its impossible to identify good ones #iwmw11 #p7
  23. Raggett: Privacy friendly strong authentication: ways to prove the user’s trusted credentials without revealing identity #iwmw11 #p7
  24. Reactions

    Privacy and the new cookie legislation are issues of great concern to the IWMW audience.  Here are just some of their reactions to Dave Raggett’s talk…

  25. #iwmw11 #p7 cookies are useful to eg online purchasing would be impossible without them
  26. It’s easy to forget that the #Facebook like button tracks your browsing @draggett #iwmw11 #p7
  27. #iwmw11 #p7 – presumably a key issue is what a 3rd party does with the information it gathers, and can this be regulated internationally?
  28. "Privacy is not dead, but it is deeply misunderstood". Abso-blooming-lutely! #iwmw11 #p7
  29. Further Information

    Dave’s slides are available in PDF format at the IWMW webpage for his talk.

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