Yo GDPR: Terms WE Assert and Sites & Services Agree to Check

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Terms We Assert and Sites & Services Agree To


Tuesday 3C

Convener: Doc Searls

Notes-taker(s): Scott Mace


Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:


Something doable for GDPR sunrise day (punative), May 25, 2018


We are willing to be the second party


Customer Commons is based on Creative Commons. We have a collection of terms that people can assert.


It’s an information sharing agreement.


Not sure what makes it a standard information sharing agreement.


If the first party proffers the term, Linux Journal calls Do Not Byte (Joyce’s terms). Just show me ads not based on tracking me.


Old fashioned ads sponsored a publication. You know Rolex wanted to be in the New York Times. Today could be from any of the parties in ad tech.


We are not participating in the ad tech system. We want to show publishers the way. And a new revenue model.


The whole industry is drunk on digital and can’t think of any other way. Most quoted line, Madison Avenue fell asleep. Direct marketing ate its brain.


Brand advertising, you didn’t want or need to get personal. Direct response marketing is in fact a junk mail business and is a cousin of spam. Same model, just the numbers are a little different.


We’re saying let’s go back to what we had before as a model.


The customer will simply point as someone will point to Creative Commons on Flickr. Ours the same. Terms will be in legalese, in ordinary language and so machines can understand it as well.


We talked about doing this in the browser, maybe even hijacking Do Not Track. We decided against that. We’re using Jlinc. My understanding of it, it happens out of band in a browser but through a UI or a thing that we haven’t built yet.


Jlinc: It’s cryptographically signed by both parties.


Two databases, recorded in both in a way that is auditable later.


Q: Can I sign a universal agreement. I dont want to do this with every source.


Jlinc: The one you sign with your health provider might be different. But might be standard for a given industry.


Q: I don’t want to log into anything.


Doc: That’s not what’s on the table here. We’re trying to do one doable thing.


Q: What if offer terms you don’t agree to?


Simplest, we ignore them. You might see no ads.


Q: Tiered access?


I want the shortest distance. We will probably do this anyway. What we want to do is bring to the publishing industry the realization that there are advantages to listening to what readers want. This model starts with the reader.


Q [Oath]: Are you going to do IAB’s transparency consent? Fixed permissions with extensions.


I have strong feelings about IAB. They paid me twice good money to come speak to them to no effect. They assume interactive advertising is best. But is there any agency on the reader side to what they propose?


Q: It’s a set of permissions granted by the publisher. Not a free form set of permissions defined by individual consumer.


Joyce: That’s not this.


Doc: It doesn’t have to be complicated.


Q: You’ll get a dialogue, do you consent?


Doc: I hate that. Having that regime defeats one of the purposes of the Web in the first place, and is for the convenience for interactive advertising that I don’t want to participate in. Ideally it would be a Do Not Track with teeth. I could sue you if you agreed to this term. In a deeper sense we’re trying to scaffold up private spaces in the physical world. The advertising world has said you are fair game. We can follow you everywhere. That is just so fucking wrong I don’t know what to do with it. It’s like negotiating with pirates. We’re trying to do something simple.


Q: Contact for verifiable claims WG. Not much exploration around targeted advertising happening yet. Also started improving Web advertising WG at W3C. We’re beginning to have conversations. Existence of ad block is a failure in that people are turning off part of the Web.


Doc: The notion that interactive advertising is part of the Web is fucked. It took off when publishers and the IAB stomped on Do Not Track.


Robert Steele: I might be funding a legal summit this summer that tracking and cookies are a form of stalking that is a federal felony. It is also unfair taking of computer resources, time and energy. We’re not putting up with it anymore.


Doc: I would love the W3C to be involved.


Q: P&G pulled $200 million of ads from digital advertising. It was all bad spend. Another major institution pulled $100 million two years ago. It’s an opportunity.


Doc: Compliant in spirit if not in letter to the GDPR. I’ll never buy Geico. But that is a brand in my head. Geico didn’t need to know who I was. That is the idea behind brand advertising. A trillion dollars has been spent on ad tech. How many brands have been created? Not one.


Q Oath: What’s the difference between what IAB has done and this? We are using IAB in Europe.


Q: As soon as IAB starts honoring Do Not Track, we will believe you.


Doc: If the IAB can hear where a publisher or advertiser can hear a first party saying anything as an equal in the marketplace, we’ll talk. It’s the recordkeeping.


Joyce: We don’t know what the IAB thing is. It’s a menu saying decide. This is, this is me saying. You can agree to my terms. LJ we don’t have any ads at all. The point is this is an illustration. Get something in somebody’s hands to play with. Readers will see the popup, if you’re interested in registering as a first person and saying this to advertisers, you are saying I want to support LJ and I am happy to see interesting ads as long as they don’t track me. It’s an experiment to do the first party contract and get sponsors. 50% of all LJ readers have ad protection.


Q Oath [Wendell Baker?]: Where’s the bright line?


Doc: Our counsel on this, Customer Commons, a California 501c3, Harvard Law School, contract is the oldest law in the world, only applies where there are disputes. No one has to be selling anything. This is totally not normative on the Web. It’s been done in the world. We want to try this out. We having something going on with IEEE.


Q Oath: Only so many things can be done reading media. Given that, it seems to me IAB took that and put it into the standard. Why isnt that working for you.


Joyce: We don’t know what it is.


Q: There’s nothing on the side of the individual. It’s the ad tech industry trying to get the publishers in sync.


Q Oath: Includes don’t set a cookie. Trying to figure out for v2, v1 was rushed to get past GDPR.


Q Jim Jlinc: Doc has boiled this down to a particular axis that’s about display ads vs. custom ads. We’re providing technology to do that particular use case. The deeper philosophical case has to do with the sense of agency and control and empowerment on behalf of individual people. It’s whether the viewer is the product. That’s the model of Silicon Valley. It’s led to a lot of problems. The question is whether we’re going to go to something with a different business model. Different than the IAB. Not being spied on or turned into product.


Q: They’re not ad blockers. They’re tracking blockers. Advertisers changed the name.


Doc: Adblock Plus gets paid by Google, others. If you’re trying to just show ads not based on tracking, it’s hard to do. Go into Privacy Badger, others. It’s a hard thing to manage.


Joyce: People are really very clever and they figure out how to do this new thing. If it doesn’t serve, people are very creative. Think about it in a different way. There are two parties trying to get what’s best for them. I used to be in the fashion business, a buyer for a large department store. A vendor would give me a printout sheet. Everything all written up perfectly, circle. I go back to hotel. I just went click click click. In my own business, I gave customers a pad a paper. Then I got orders.


Q Jim Jlinc: There is a philosphical point here. About a sense of end user volitional control. It may be some people are going to be find with what the IAB delivers. But what’s still missing is the sense the end user is a first party. Not treated like something to work the buttons.


Doc: Take off the professional hat and look at the Web as you did when you first saw a browser and I had lots of agency. May be some overlap. The thing that makes it hard is we’ve been tracked for so long I don’t know if you are ever willing to let tracking go. We need help with Customer Commons: funding, an executive director.


Q: You have no clue what interests me without tracking me.


Joyce: We know what Linux Journal readers are interested in.