Abstract

This specification defines the DNT request header field as an HTTP mechanism for expressing the user's preference regarding tracking, an HTML DOM property to make that expression readable by scripts, and APIs that allow scripts to register site-specific exceptions granted by the user. It also defines mechanisms for sites to communicate whether and how they honor a received preference through use of the Tk response header field and well-known resources that provide a machine-readable tracking status.

Status of This Document

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document. A list of current W3C publications and the latest revision of this technical report can be found in the W3C technical reports index at http://www.w3.org/TR/.

This document is a snapshot of ongoing discussions within was published by the Tracking Protection Working Group . It does as a Last Call Working Draft on 24 April 2014. This document is intended to become a W3C Recommendation. If you wish to make comments regarding this document, please send them to public-tracking-comments@w3.org ( subscribe , archives ). All comments are publicly archived; if you have not yet capture all used W3C mailing lists in the past, you will need to approve archiving (instructions are sent via email auto-reply) before your comments will be distributed. The Last Call period ends 18 June 2014. All comments are welcome.

The Tracking Protection Working Group invites broad community review, especially of our work technical requirements and does not constitute dependencies. Reviewers are encouraged to comment on the extent to which technical requirements of the group's charter have been met and how significant dependencies with groups inside and outside W3C have been satisfied. The Working Group consensus. Text will evaluate all comments received and determine whether or how the specification needs to be modified in option boxes (highlighted with light blue background color) present options that of the group is currently considering, particularly comments. Comments will be most useful in identifying technical problems with the TPE that might inhibit adoption, or where consensus is known the TPE fails to be lacking, and should be read as a set further goals of proposals rather than as limitations on user privacy and user control, and whether the potential outcome. Members TPE creates or does not otherwise resolve dependencies with other technical standards, practices, or processes. The Chairs of the Working Group wish will issue written responses to emphasize that all comments received.

Of note, this draft is a work in progress and document does not define site behavior for complying with a decided outcome or guaranteed direction user's expressed tracking preference, but does provide sites with a mechanism for future versions indicating compliance. The Tracking Compliance and Scope [ TCS ] specification which standardizes how sites should respond to Do Not Track requests, including what information may be collected for limited permitted uses despite a Do Not Track signal, is under discussion. The Tracking Protection Working Group expects that specification to proceed to Last Call in the summer of this document. 2014. Both specifications are currently scheduled to go to Candidate Recommendation in December 2014.

Readers may review changes from the previous Working Draft ; in particular, recent changes have include: updated definitions of terms definitions, revised requirements on determining a user preference, and indications of compliance. a media type. An issue tracking system is available for recording raised , open , pending review , closed , and postponed issues regarding this document. This document was published by the Tracking Protection Working Group as a Working Draft. This document is intended to become a W3C Recommendation. If you wish to make comments regarding this document, please send them to public-tracking-comments@w3.org ( subscribe , archives ). All comments are welcome. and their resolutions.

Publication as a Last Call Working Draft does not imply endorsement by the W3C Membership. This is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to cite this document as other than work in progress.

This is a Last Call Working Draft and thus the Working Group has determined that this document has satisfied the relevant technical requirements and is sufficiently stable to advance through the Technical Recommendation process.

This document was produced by a group operating under the 5 February 2004 W3C Patent Policy . W3C maintains a public list of any patent disclosures made in connection with the deliverables of the group; that page also includes instructions for disclosing a patent. An individual who has actual knowledge of a patent which the individual believes contains Essential Claim(s) must disclose the information in accordance with section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy .

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

The World Wide Web (WWW, or Web) consists of millions billions of sites resources interconnected through the use of hypertext. Hypertext provides a simple, page-oriented view of a wide variety of the information that provided by those resources, which can be traversed by selecting links, manipulating controls, and supplying data via forms and search dialogs.

A Web page is usually often composed of many different information sources beyond the initial resource request, including embedded references to stylesheets, inline images, javascript, and other elements that might be automatically requested as part of the rendering or behavioral processing defined for that page. Each of the hypertext actions and each of the embedded resource references might refer to any site on the Web, leading to a seamless interaction with the user The user's experience is seamless, even when a if the page might be has been composed of information requested from the results of many different and possibly independent Web sites. network interactions with multiple servers. From the user's perspective, they are simply visiting and interacting with a single Web property: site: all of the technical details and protocol mechanisms used to compose a page to represent that property site are hidden behind the scenes.

It has become common for Web site owners to collect data regarding the usage of their sites for a variety of purposes, including what led the user to visit their site (referrals), how effective the user experience is within the site (web analytics), and the nature of who is using their site (audience segmentation). In some cases, the data collected is used to dynamically adapt the content (personalization) or the advertising presented to the user (targeted advertising). Data collection can occur both at the first-party site and via third-party providers often occurs through the insertion of tracking embedded elements on each page. page, which connect the user's activity across multiple pages. A survey of these techniques and their privacy implications can be found in [ KnowPrivacy ].

People have the right to know how data about them will be collected and how it will be used. Empowered with that knowledge, individuals can decide whether to allow their online activities to be tracked and data about them to be collected. Many Internet companies use data gathered about people's online activities to personalize content and target advertising based on their perceived interests. While some people appreciate this personalization of content and ads in certain contexts, others are troubled by what they perceive as an invasion of their privacy. For them, the benefit of personalization is not worth their concerns about allowing entities with whom they have no direct relationship to amass profiles about their activities. Therefore, users Users need a mechanism to express their own preference preferences regarding tracking that is both simple to configure and efficient when implemented. In turn, Web sites However, merely expressing a preference does not imply that are all recipients will be able to comply. In some cases, a server might be dependent on some forms of tracking and is unwilling or unable to offer content without such data collection need turn that off. In other cases, a mechanism to indicate server might perform only limited forms of tracking that status would be acceptable to the user and allow them (or most users. Servers need mechanisms for communicating their tracking behavior and for storing user-granted exceptions after the user agent) to make has made an individual choice regarding exceptions. informed choice.

This specification defines protocol elements for use within the Hypertext Transfer Protocol [ HTTP ] which allow a user to express a elements for communicating the user's tracking preference, via preference (if any) and communicating the server's tracking behavior (if any). The DNT request header field, and allow a server to describe their field is defined for communicating the user's tracking behavior via a preference for the request target. A well-known URI for a tracking status resource and the Tk response header field. field are defined for communicating the server's tracking behavior. In addition, JavaScript APIs are defined for enabling scripts to determine DNT status and to register a user-granted exception. exception .

2. Notational Conventions 2.1 Requirements

The key words must , must not , required , should , should not , recommended , may , and optional in this This specification are to be interpreted as described in [ RFC2119 ]. Issue 136 : Resolve dependencies of the TPE does not define requirements on what a recipient needs to do to comply with a user's expressed tracking preference, except for the means by which such compliance specification [OPEN] This draft removes all dependencies on TCS. Issue 141 : Do is communicated. Instead, the tracking status provides the ability to identify a review according set of compliance regimes to qaframe-spec [POSTPONED] 2.2 Formal Syntax This specification uses Augmented Backus-Naur Form which the server claims to comply, with the assumption being that each regime defines its own requirements on compliant behavior. For example, [ ABNF TCS ] is a work-in-progress that intends to define network protocol syntax and WebIDL [ WEBIDL ] for defining scripting APIs. such a compliance regime.

2.3 2. Terminology

A user Tracking is the collection of data regarding a natural person who is making, particular user's activity across multiple distinct contexts and the retention, use, or has made, use sharing of data derived from that activity outside the Web. context in which it occurred. A user action context is a deliberate act set of resources that are controlled by the user to invoke, command, same party or manipulate a user agent to perform jointly controlled by a network interaction, including the intended consequences set of that action. User activity parties.

A user is any set a natural person who is making, or has made, use of such user actions. the Web.

A user agent is any of the various client programs capable of initiating HTTP requests [ HTTP ], including (but not limited to) browsers, spiders (web-based robots), command-line tools, custom applications, and mobile apps.

Tracking A network interaction is the collection of data regarding a particular user's activity across multiple distinct contexts single HTTP request and the retention, use, its corresponding response(s): zero or sharing of data derived from that activity outside the context in which it occurred. more interim (1xx) responses and a single final (2xx-5xx) response.

Issue 240 : Do we need

A user action is a deliberate action by the user, via configuration, invocation, or selection, to define context? [RAISED] The above definition depends on there being initiate a definition network interaction. Selection of context that bounds a scope link, submission of a form, and reloading a page are examples of user activity, though it actions. User activity is not dependent on any particular definition of that term. For example, something along the lines of: For the purpose of this definition, a context is a set of resources that share the same data controller, same privacy policy, and a common branding, such that a user would expect that data collected by one of those resources is available to all other resources within the same context. actions.

A party is a natural person, a legal entity, or a set of legal entities that share common owner(s), common controller(s), and a group identity that is easily discoverable by a user. Common branding or providing a list of affiliates that is available via a link from a resource where a party describes DNT practices are examples of ways to provide this discoverability.

Within the context of With respect to a given user action, a first party is a party with which the user intends to interact, via one or more network interactions, as a result of making that action. Merely hovering over, muting, pausing, or closing a given piece of content does not constitute a user's intent to interact with another party.

In some cases, a resource on the Web will be jointly controlled by two or more distinct parties. Each of those parties is considered a first party if a user would reasonably expect to communicate with all of them when accessing that resource. For example, prominent co-branding on the resource might lead a user to expect that multiple parties are responsible for the content or functionality.

For any data collected as a result of one or more network interactions resulting from a user's action, a third party is any party other than that user, a first party for that user action, or a service provider acting on behalf of either that user or that first party.

A party collects data received in a network interaction if that data remains within the party’s control after the network interaction is complete.

A party uses data if the party processes the data for any purpose other than storage or merely forwarding it to another party.

A party shares data if it transfers or provides a copy of that data to any other party.

A party facilitates any other party’s collection of data if it enables such party to collect data and engage in tracking. A user-granted exception is a specific tracking preference, overriding a user's general tracking preference, that has been obtained and recorded using the mechanisms defined in section 6. 7. User-Granted Exceptions .

Issue 217 3. Notational Conventions

: Terminology for user action, interaction, 3.1 Requirements

The key words must , must not , required , should , should not , recommended , may , and network interaction [OPEN] Waiting on result from call for objections. optional in this specification are to be interpreted as described in [ RFC2119 ].

Issue 228 3.2 Formal Syntax

This specification uses Augmented Backus-Naur Form [ : Revise the Network Interaction definition ABNF [OPEN] Waiting on result from call ] to define network protocol syntax and WebIDL [ WEBIDL ] for objections. defining scripting APIs.

3. 4. Determining User Preference

The goal of this protocol is to allow a user to express their personal preference regarding tracking to each server and web application that they communicate with via HTTP, thereby allowing each service recipients of that preference to either adjust their tracking behavior to meet the user's expectations accordingly or to reach a separate agreement with the user to satisfy that satisfies all parties.

Key to that notion of expression is that the signal sent MUST reflect the user's preference, not the choice of some vendor, institution, site, or any network-imposed mechanism outside the user's control; this applies equally to both the general preference and exceptions. The basic principle is that a tracking preference expression is only transmitted when it reflects a deliberate choice by the user. In the absence of user choice, there is no tracking preference expressed.

A user agent MUST offer users a minimum of two alternative choices for a Do Not Track preference: unset or DNT:1 . A user agent MAY offer a third alternative choice: DNT:0 .

If the user's choice is DNT:1 or DNT:0 , the tracking preference is enabled ; otherwise, the tracking preference is not enabled .

A user agent MUST have a default tracking preference of unset (not enabled) unless a specific tracking preference is implied by the user's decision to use that agent. For example, use of a general-purpose browser would not imply a tracking preference when invoked normally as SuperFred , but might imply a preference if invoked as SuperDoNotTrack or UltraPrivacyFred . Likewise,

Implementations of HTTP that are not under control of the user MUST NOT add, delete, or modify a tracking preference. Some controlled network environments, such as public access terminals or managed corporate intranets, might impose restrictions on the use or configuration of installed user agents, such that a user might only have access to user agents with a predetermined preference enabled. However, if a user brings their own Web-enabled device to a library or cafe with wireless Internet access, the expectation will be that their chosen user agent extension and personal preferences regarding Web site behavior will not be altered by the network environment (aside from blanket limitations on what resources can or add-on cannot be accessed through that network).

An HTTP intermediary MUST NOT alter the add, delete, or modify a tracking preference expression in a request forwarded through that intermediary unless the act intermediary has been specifically installed or configured to do so by the user making the request. For example, an Internet Service Provider MUST NOT inject DNT:1 on behalf of installing and enabling that extension all users who have not expressed a preference.

User agents often include user-installable extensions , also known as add-ons or add-on plug-ins , that are capable of modifying configurations and making network requests. From the user's perspective, these extensions are considered part of the user agent and ought to respect the user's configuration of a tracking preference. The user agent as a whole is an explicit choice by responsible for ensuring conformance with this protocol, to the extent possible, which means the user agent core and each extension are jointly responsible for conformance. However, there is no single standard for extension interfaces. A user agent that permits such extensions SHOULD provide an appropriate mechanism for extensions to determine the user's tracking preference.

A user agent extension or add-on MUST NOT alter the user's tracking preference setting expression or its associated configuration unless it the act of installing and enabling that extension is an explicit choice by the user for that tracking preference, or the extension itself complies with all of the requirements in this document, including but not limited to this section (Determining protocol places on a User Preference). Software user agent.

Likewise, software outside of the user agent that causes might filter network traffic or cause a DNT header to be sent (or causes existing headers user agent's configuration to be modified) changed. Software that alters a user agent configuration MUST NOT do so without ensuring that adhere to the above requirements of this section are met; such software also on a user agent extension. Software that filters network traffic MUST ensure the transmitted preference reflects adhere to the individual user's preference. above requirements on an HTTP intermediary.

We Aside from the above requirements, we do not specify how the tracking preference choices are offered to the user or how the preference is enabled: each implementation is responsible for determining the user experience by which a tracking preference is enabled .

For example, a user might select a check-box in their user agent's configuration, install an extension or add-on that is specifically designed to add a tracking preference expression, or make a choice for privacy that then implicitly includes a tracking preference (e.g., Privacy settings: high ). The A user agent might ask the user for their preference during startup, perhaps on first use or after an update adds the tracking protection feature. Likewise, a user might install or configure a proxy to add the expression to their own outgoing requests.

Although some controlled network environments, such as public access terminals or managed corporate intranets, might impose restrictions on the use or configuration of installed user agents, such that a user might only have access to user agents with a predetermined preference enabled, the user is at least able to choose whether to make use of those user agents. In contrast, if a user brings their own Web-enabled device to a library or cafe with wireless Internet access, the expectation will be that their chosen user agent and personal preferences regarding Web site behavior will not be altered by the network environment, aside from blanket limitations on what resources can or cannot be accessed through that network. Implementations of HTTP that are not under control of the user MUST NOT generate or modify a tracking preference.

4. 5. Expressing a Tracking Preference

4.1 5.1 Expression Format

When a user has enabled a tracking preference, that preference needs to be expressed to all mechanisms that might perform or initiate tracking by third parties, including sites that the user agent communicates with via HTTP, scripts that can extend behavior on pages, and plug-ins or extensions that might be installed and activated for various media types. .

When enabled , a tracking preference is expressed as either:

DNT meaning
1 This user prefers not to be tracked on the target site.
0 This user prefers to allow tracking on the target site.

A user agent MUST NOT send a tracking preference expression if a tracking preference is not enabled . This means that no expression is sent for each of the following cases:

In the absence of regulatory, legal, or other requirements, servers MAY interpret the lack of an expressed tracking preference as they find most appropriate for the given user, particularly when considered in light of the user's privacy expectations and cultural circumstances. Likewise, servers might make use of other preference information outside the scope of this protocol, such as site-specific user preferences or third-party registration services, to inform or adjust their behavior when no explicit preference is expressed via this protocol.

4.2 5.2 DNT Header Field for HTTP Requests

The DNT header field is hereby defined as the means a mechanism for expressing a the user's tracking preference via in an HTTP request [ HTTP ].

DNT-field-name  = "DNT"
DNT-field-value = ( "0" / "1" ) *DNT-extension
   = %x21 / %x23-2B / %x2D-5B / %x5D-7E
                ; excludes CTL, SP, DQUOTE, comma, backslash

A user agent MUST NOT send the generate a DNT header field on all HTTP requests if (and only if) a the user's tracking preference is not enabled .

A user agent MUST NOT send the generate a DNT header field if with a tracking preference is not enabled . The DNT field-value sent by a user agent MUST begin that begins with the numeric character "1" (%x31) if a the user's tracking preference is enabled , the their preference is for no tracking, DNT:1 , and there is not an no exception has been granted for the origin server targeted by this request. request target (see section 7. User-Granted Exceptions ).

The DNT field-value sent by a A user agent MUST begin generate a DNT header field with a field-value that begins with the numeric character "0" (%x30) if a the user's tracking preference is enabled and the their preference is to allow tracking in general for DNT:0 , or by specific if an exception has been granted for the origin server targeted by this request. request target.

GET /something/here HTTP/1.1 Host: example.com DNT: 1

An HTTP intermediary A proxy MUST NOT add, delete, or modify the generate a DNT header field in requests forwarded through that intermediary unless that intermediary it has been specifically installed or configured to do so by the user making the requests. For example, an Internet Service Provider MUST NOT inject DNT: 1 on behalf of all of their users who have not expressed request and adheres to the above requirements as if it were a preference. user agent.

Example 1
GET /something/here HTTP/1.1
Host: example.com
DNT:
1

The remainder of the DNT field-value field-value, after the initial character character, is reserved for future extensions. User agents that do not implement such extensions MUST NOT send DNT-extension characters in the DNT field-value. Servers that do not implement such extensions SHOULD ignore anything beyond the first character. can only be transmitted when a tracking preference is enabled .

DNT-extension   = %x21 / %x23-2B / %x2D-5B / %x5D-7E
                ; excludes CTL, SP, DQUOTE, comma, backslash

DNT extensions are to be interpreted as For example, additional characters might indicate modifiers to the main preference expressed by the first digit, such that the main preference will be obeyed understood if the recipient does not understand the extension. Hence, a DNT-field-value field-value of "1xyz" can be thought of as do not track, but if you understand the refinements defined by x, y, or z, then adjust my preferences according to those refinements.

User agents that do not implement DNT extensions can only be transmitted when a tracking preference is enabled . MUST NOT send DNT-extension characters in the DNT field-value. Servers that do not implement DNT extensions SHOULD ignore anything beyond the first character.

Note

The extension syntax is restricted to visible ASCII characters that can be parsed as a single word in HTTP and safely embedded in a JSON string without further encoding ( section 5.5 6.5 Tracking Status Representation ). Since the DNT header field is intended to be sent on every request, when enabled, designers of future extensions ought to use as few extension characters as possible. Note This document does not have any implied or specified behavior for the user agent treatment of cookies when DNT is enabled. Note At most one DNT header field can be present in a valid HTTP request [ HTTP ].

Issue 153 : What are the implications on software that changes requests but does not necessarily initiate them? [PENDING REVIEW]

4.3 5.3 JavaScript Property to Detect Preference

This The doNotTrack property enables a site executing code in its own origin client-side script with read access to the Window object to determine what DNT header field value would be sent to it in requests to the current context, document-origin, taking into account the user's general preference (if any) and any user-granted exceptions. exceptions applicable to that origin server.

partial interface Window {
    readonly    attribute DOMString doNotTrack;
};

doNotTrack of type DOMString , readonly
Returns the same string value that would be sent in a DNT-field-value ( section 4.2 5.2 DNT Header Field for HTTP Requests ) to a target that is the document-origin of the window , in the browser context of the current top-level origin . The value is null if no DNT header field would be sent (e.g., because a tracking preference is not enabled ).
4.4 Plug-In APIs User agents often include user-installable component parts, commonly known as plug-ins or browser extensions , that are capable of making their own network requests. From the user's perspective, these components are considered part of the user agent and thus ought to respect the user's configuration of a tracking preference. However, plug-ins do not normally have read access to the browser configuration. Note It is unclear whether we need to standardize the plug-in APIs or if we should rely on it being defined per user agent based on general advice here. No plug-in APIs have been proposed yet.

4.5 5.4 Tracking Preference Expressed in Other Protocols

It A user's tracking preference is intended to apply in general, regardless of the protocols being used for Internet communication. However, it is beyond the scope of this specification to define how a user's tracking preference might be communicated via protocols other than HTTP. However, the semantics of a user's tracking preference is intended to apply in general, regardless of the protocols being used for Internet communication.

5. 6. Communicating a Tracking Status

5.1 6.1 Overview

This protocol has the dual goals of In addition to expressing the user's preference regarding tracking and providing transparency by communicating tracking, this protocol enables servers to communicate machine-readable claims that a server might wish to make regarding its their own tracking behavior. However, providing Since a dynamic personalized tracking status on every response would effectively disable caching for the entire Web. Instead, this protocol defines caching, a combination of response mechanisms that are defined to allow this information the tracking status to be communicated prior to making a trackable request and without making every response dynamic.

This section explains how a user agent MAY discover an origin server's tracking status for a given resource. It defines a REQUIRED site-wide tracking status resource at a specific well-known location and an OPTIONAL space of request-specific tracking status resources for sites where the tracking status might vary based on data within the request. It also defines a Tk response header field that MAY be sent in any response, MUST be sent in responses to requests that modify the tracking status, and MAY direct the user to a request-specific tracking status resource applicable to the current request.

5.2 6.2 Tracking Status Value

5.2.1 6.2.1 Definition

A tracking status value (TSV) is a short notation for communicating single character response to the user's tracking behavior regarding preference with regard to data collected via a the designated resource . For a site-wide tracking status resource, the designated resource is any resource on the same origin server. For a Tk response header field, the target resource of the corresponding request is the designated resource, and remains so for any subsequent request-specific tracking status resource referred to by the Tk field value.

The tracking status value is case sensitive, as defined formally by the following ABNF.

TSV    = %x21   ; "!" - under construction
       / %x3F   ; "?" - dynamic
       / %x4E   ; "N" — not tracking
       / %x54   ; "T" — tracking
       / %x43   ; "C" - tracking with consent
       / %x50   ; "P" - tracking only if consented
       / %x44   ; "D" - disregarding DNT
       / %x55   ; "U" - updated
Issue 241 : Distinguish elements for site-internal use and elements that can be re-used by others (1/3) [OPEN] The previous values of "1" and "3" to indicate the designated resource complies with first or third party requirements, respectively, have been removed because they are dependent on a specific compliance regime. They can still be communicated via the qualifiers.

5.2.2 6.2.2 Under Construction (!)

A tracking status value of ! means that the origin server is currently testing its communication of tracking status. The ! value has been provided to ease testing and deployment on production systems during the initial periods of testing compliance and during adjustment periods due to future protocol changes or shifting regulatory constraints. Note that this value does necessarily not indicate that the DNT signal user's preference will be ignored, nor that tracking will occur as a result of accessing the designated resource.

5.2.3 6.2.3 Dynamic (?)

A tracking status value of ? means the origin server needs more information to determine tracking status, usually because the designated resource dynamically adjusts behavior based on information in a request.

If ? is present in the site-wide tracking status, more information the origin server MUST be provided via the send a Tk response header field when accessing a in all responses to requests on the designated resource. If ? is present in the Tk header field, more information will be provided in a request-specific tracking status resource referred to by the status-id . An origin server MUST NOT send ? as the tracking status value in the representation of a request-specific tracking status resource.

5.2.4 6.2.4 Not Tracking (N)

A tracking status value of N means the origin server claims that data collected via the designated resource is not used for tracking and will not be combined with other data in a form that would enable tracking.

5.2.5 6.2.5 Tracking (T)

A tracking status value of T means the origin server might perform or enable tracking using data collected via the designated resource . Information provided in the tracking status representation might indicate whether such tracking is limited to a set of commonly accepted uses or adheres to one or more compliance regimes.

5.2.6 6.2.6 Consent (C)

A tracking status value of C means that the origin server believes it has received prior consent for tracking this user, user agent, or device, perhaps via some mechanism not defined by this specification, and that prior consent overrides the tracking preference expressed by this protocol. An origin server that sends this the C tracking status value for a designated resource MUST provide a reference for controlling consent within the edit config property of its corresponding tracking status representation ( section 5.5 6.5 Tracking Status Representation ).

5.2.7 6.2.7 Potential Consent (P)

A tracking status value of P means that the origin server does not know, in real-time, whether it has received prior consent for tracking this user, user agent, or device, but promises not to use or share any DNT:1 data until such consent has been determined, and further promises to delete or de-identify within forty-eight hours any DNT:1 data received for which such consent has not been received.

Since this status value does not itself indicate whether a specific request is tracked, an origin server that sends a P tracking status value MUST provide an a edit config property in the corresponding tracking status representation that links to a resource for obtaining consent status.

The P tracking status value is specifically meant to address audience survey systems for which determining consent at the time of a request is either impractical, due to legacy systems not being able to keep up with Web traffic, or potentially "gamed" by first party sites if they can determine which of their users have consented. The data cannot be used for the sake of personalization. If consent can be determined at the time of a request, the C tracking status is preferred.

5.2.8 6.2.8 Disregarding (D)

A tracking status value of D means that the origin server is unable or unwilling to respect a tracking preference received from the requesting user agent. An origin server that sends this the D tracking status value MUST detail within the server's corresponding privacy policy the conditions under which a tracking preference might be disregarded.

For example, an origin server might disregard the DNT field received from specific user agents (or via specific network intermediaries) that are deemed to be non-conforming, might be collecting additional data from specific source network locations due to prior security incidents, or might be compelled to disregard certain DNT requests to comply with a local law, regulation, or order.

Note

This specification is written with an assumption that the D tracking status value is meant to would only be used only in situations that can be adequately described to users as an exception to normal behavior. An origin server that responds with D in ways that are inconsistent with their other published and unexpired claims regarding tracking is likely If this turns out not to be considered misleading. Issue 197 : How do we notify the user why a Disregard case, either the server's decision to send the D signal is received? [OPEN] needs re-examination, or this specification, or both.

5.2.9 6.2.9 Updated (U)

A tracking status value of U means that the request resulted in a potential change to the tracking status applicable to this user, user agent, or device. A user agent that relies on a cached tracking status SHOULD update the cache entry with the current status by making a new request on the applicable tracking status resource.

An origin server MUST NOT send U as a tracking status value anywhere other than a Tk header field that is in response to a state-changing request.

5.3 6.3 Tk Header Field for HTTP Responses

5.3.1 6.3.1 Definition

The Tk response header field is hereby defined as an OPTIONAL means for indicating the tracking status that applied to the corresponding request and as a REQUIRED means for indicating that a state-changing request has resulted in an interactive change to the tracking status.

Tk-field-name   =  "Tk"
Tk-field-value  =  TSV [ ";" status-id ]

The Tk field-value begins with a tracking status value ( section 5.2 6.2 Tracking Status Value ), optionally followed by a semicolon and a status-id that refers to a request-specific tracking status resource ( section 5.3.2 6.3.2 Referring to a Request-specific Tracking Status Resource ).

For example, a Tk header field for a resource that claims not to be tracking would look like:

Example 2
Tk:
N

5.3.2 6.3.2 Referring to a Request-specific Tracking Status Resource

If an origin server has multiple, request-specific tracking policies, such that the tracking status might differ depending on some aspect of the request (e.g., method, target URI, header fields, data, etc.), the origin server MAY provide an additional subtree of well-known resources corresponding to each of those distinct tracking statuses. The OPTIONAL status-id portion of the Tk field-value indicates which specific tracking status resource applies to the current request.

status-id       =  1*id-char
id-char         =  ALPHA / DIGIT / "_" / "-" / "+" / "=" / "/"

For example, a response containing

Example 3
Tk:
T;fRx42

indicates that data collected via the target resource might be used for tracking and that an applicable tracking status representation can be obtained by performing a retrieval request on

/.well-known/dnt/fRx42

If a Tk field-value has a tracking status value of ? (dynamic), then the origin server MUST also send a status-id MUST be included in the field-value. The status-id is case-sensitive.

5.3.3 6.3.3 Indicating an Interactive Status Change

We anticipate that interactive Interactive mechanisms might be used, beyond the scope of this specification, that have the effect of asking for and obtaining prior consent for tracking, or for modifying prior indications of consent. For example, the tracking status resource's status-object defines an a edit config property that can refer to such a mechanism. Although such out-of-band mechanisms are not defined by this specification, their presence might influence the tracking status object's response value.

When an origin server provides a mechanism via HTTP for establishing or modifying out-of-band tracking preferences, the origin server MUST indicate within the mechanism's response when a state-changing request has resulted in a change to the tracking status for that server. This indication of an interactive status change is accomplished by sending a Tk header field in the response with a tracking status value of U (updated).

Example 4
Tk:
U

5.4 6.4 Tracking Status Resource

5.4.1 6.4.1 Site-wide Tracking Status

An origin server MUST provide a A site-wide tracking status resource at the well-known identifier [ RFC5785 ] /.well-known/dnt/ (relative to the URI of that origin server) for obtaining provides information about the potential tracking behavior of resources provided by located at that origin server. A site-wide tracking status resource can be used for verification of DNT support, as described in section 5.7 Using has the Tracking Status well-known identifier


/.well-known/dnt/

relative to the origin server's URI [ . RFC5785 ].

A valid retrieval request (e.g., An origin server that receives a valid GET in HTTP) on the well-known URI request targeting its site-wide tracking status resource MUST result in send either a successful response containing a machine-readable representation of the site-wide tracking status, as defined below, or a sequence of redirects that leads to such a representation. A user agent MAY consider failure Failure to provide access to such a representation equivalent to implies that the target origin server does not implementing implement this protocol. The representation can be cached, as described in section 5.4.4 6.4.4 Caching .

See section 6.7 Using the Tracking Status for examples of how tracking status resources can be used to discover support for this protocol.

5.4.2 6.4.2 Request-specific Tracking Status

If an origin server has multiple, request-specific tracking policies, such that the tracking status might differ depending on some aspect of the request (e.g., method, target URI, header fields, data, etc.), the origin server MAY provide an additional subtree of well-known resources corresponding to each of those distinct tracking statuses. The Tk response header field ( section 5.3 6.3 Tk Header Field for HTTP Responses ) can include a status-id to indicate which specific tracking status resource applies to the current request.

The A tracking status resource space is defined by the following URI Template [ URI-TEMPLATE ]:

/.well-known/dnt/{+status-id}

where the value of status-id is a string of URI-safe characters provided by a Tk field-value in response to a prior request. For example, a prior response containing

Example 5
Tk:
?;ahoy

refers to the specific tracking status resource

/.well-known/dnt/ahoy

Resources within the request-specific tracking status resource space are represented using the same format as a site-wide tracking status resource.

5.4.3 6.4.3 Status Checks are Not Tracked

When sending a request for the tracking status, a user agent SHOULD include any cookie data [ COOKIES ] (set prior to the request) that would be sent in a normal request to that origin server, since that data might be needed by the server to determine the current tracking status. For example, the cookie data might indicate a prior out-of-band decision by the user to opt-out or consent to tracking by that origin server.

All An origin server MUST NOT retain tracking data regarding requests on the site-wide tracking status resource space, including or within the site-wide tracking status resource, MUST NOT be tracked, irrespective resource space, regardless of the presence, value, absence, or absence value of a DNT header field, cookies, or any other information in the request. In addition, all an origin server MUST NOT send Set-Cookie or Set-Cookie2 header fields in responses to those requests, including the responses to redirected tracking status requests, MUST NOT have Set-Cookie or Set-Cookie2 header fields and MUST NOT have send a response having content that initiates tracking beyond what was already present in the request. A user agent SHOULD ignore, or treat as an error, any Set-Cookie or Set-Cookie2 header field received in such a response.

5.4.4 6.4.4 Caching

If the tracking status is applicable to all users, regardless of the received DNT-field-value or other data received via the request, then the origin server SHOULD mark the response as cacheable [ HTTP-cache ] and assign a time-to-live (expiration or max-use) that is sufficient to enable shared caching but not greater than the earliest point at which the service's tracking behavior might increase.

For example, if the tracking status response is set to expire in seven days, then the earliest point in time that the service's tracking behavior can be increased is seven days after the tracking status representation has been updated to reflect the new behavior, since old copies might persist in caches until the expiration is triggered. A service's tracking behavior can be reduced at any time, with or without a corresponding change to the tracking status resource.

If the tracking status is only applicable to all users that have the same DNT-field-value , then , the response origin server MUST either be marked with send a Vary header field that includes "DNT" in its field-value or marked as not reusable by a shared cache without revalidation with a Cache-Control header field containing one of the following directives: "private", "no-cache", "no-store", or "max-age=0".

If the tracking status is only applicable to the specific user that requested it, then the response origin server MUST include send a Cache-Control header field containing one of the following directives: "private", "no-cache", or "no-store".

Regardless of the cache-control settings, it is expected that user agents will check the tracking status of a service only once per session (at most). A public Internet site that intends to change its tracking status to increase tracking behavior MUST update the tracking status resource in accordance with that planned behavior at least twenty-four hours prior to activating that new behavior on the service.

A user agent that adjusts behavior based on active verification of tracking status, relying on cached tracking status responses to do so, SHOULD check responses to its state-changing requests (e.g., POST, PUT, DELETE, etc.) for a Tk header field with the U tracking status value, as described in section 5.3.3 6.3.3 Indicating an Interactive Status Change .

5.5 6.5 Tracking Status Representation

An For each tracking status resource, an origin server MUST provide a valid representation of each tracking status resource in using the application/tracking-status+json media type. This media type is defined as a JSON format [ RFC4627 RFC7159 ] that conforms to the ABNF for status-object (except (below) except that the properties within a property-list MAY can be provided in any order). order. More information about the application/tracking-status+json media type can be found in section B. Registrations .

5.5.1 6.5.1 Status Object

A tracking status representation consists of a single status-object containing properties that describe the tracking status applicable to the designated resource .

status-object = begin-object property-list end-object
property-list = tracking-p       ns tracking-v
                [ vs compliance  ns compliance-v ]
                [ vs qualifiers  ns qualifiers-v ]
                [ vs controller  ns controller-v ]
                [ vs same-party  ns same-party-v ]
                [ vs audit       ns audit-v      ]
                [ vs policy      ns policy-v     ]
                [ vs edit        ns edit-v       ]

                [ vs config      ns config-v     ]

                *( vs extension )

The following example tracking status representation illustrates a status object with all of the properties defined by this specification, most of which are optional.

Example 6
{
  "tracking": "T",
  "compliance": ["https://acme.example.org/tracking101"],
  "qualifiers": "afc",
  "controller": ["https://www.example.com/privacy"],
  "same-party": [
    "example.com",
    "example_vids.net",
    "example_stats.com"
  ],
  "audit": [
    "http://auditor.example.org/727073"
  ],
  "policy": "/privacy.html#tracking",
  "edit": "http://example.com/your/data"

  "config": "http://example.com/your/data"

}

5.5.2 6.5.2 Tracking Property

A status-object always has a property named tracking with a string value containing the tracking status value ( section 5.2 6.2 Tracking Status Value ) applicable to the designated resource .

tracking-p    = %x22 "tracking" %x22
tracking-v    = %x22 TSV %x22

For example, the following demonstrates a minimal tracking status representation that is applicable to any resource that does not perform tracking.

Example 7
{"tracking":
"N"}

5.5.3 6.5.3 Compliance Property

An origin server MAY send a property named compliance with an array value containing a list of URI references that identify specific regimes to which the origin server claims to comply for the designated resource. Communicating such a claim of compliance is presumed to improve transparency, which might influence a user's decisions or configurations regarding allowed tracking, but does not have any direct impact on this protocol.

compliance    = %x22 "compliance" %x22
compliance-v  = array-of-refs
Issue 239 : Should tracking status representation include an array of links for claiming compliance by reference? [RAISED] Text above is proposed resolution. Issue 242 : URL Management for compliance regime URLs [POSTPONED]

5.5.4 6.5.4 Qualifiers Property

An origin server MAY send a property named qualifiers with a string value containing a sequence of case sensitive characters corresponding to explanations or limitations on the extent of tracking. Multiple qualifiers indicate that multiple explanations or forms of tracking might apply for the designated resource. The meaning of each qualifier is presumed to be defined by one or more of the regimes listed in compliance .

qualifiers    = %x22 "qualifiers" %x22
qualifiers-v  = %x22 *qualifier %x22
qualifier     = id-char

5.5.5 6.5.5 Controller Property

An origin server MAY send a property named controller with an array value containing a list of URI references indirectly identifying the party or set of parties that claims to be the responsible data controller for personal data collected via the designated resource. An origin server MUST send a controller property if the responsible data controller does not own the designated resource's domain name.

An origin server that does not send controller is implying that its domain owner is the sole data controller; information about the data controller ought to be found on the designated resource's site root page, or by way of a clearly indicated link from that page (i.e., no an absent controller property is considered equivalent to: "controller":["/"] ).

If the designated resource has joint data controllers (i.e., multiple parties have independent control over the collected data), the origin server MUST send a controller property that contains a reference for each data controller.

Each URI reference provided in controller MUST ought to refer to a resource that, if a retrieval action is performed on that URI, would provide the user with information regarding (at a minimum) the identity of the corresponding party and its data collection practices.

controller    = %x22 "controller" %x22
controller-v  = array-of-refs

5.5.6 6.5.6 Same-party Property

Since a user's experience on a given site might be composed of resources that are assembled from multiple domains, it might be useful for a site to distinguish those domains that are subject to their own control (i.e., share the same data controller as the referring site). An origin server MAY send a property named same-party with an array value containing a list of domain names that the origin server claims are the same party, to the extent they are referenced by the designated resource, if all data collected via those references share the same data controller as the designated resource.

A user agent might use the same-party array, when provided, to inform or enable different behavior for references that are claimed to be same-party versus those for which no claim is made. For example, a user agent might choose to exclude, or perform additional pre-flight verification of, requests to other domains that have not been claimed as same-party by the referring site.

same-party    = %x22 "same-party" %x22
same-party-v  = array-of-refs

5.5.7 6.5.7 Audit Property

An origin server MAY send a property named audit with an array value containing a list of URI references to external audits of the designated resource's privacy policy and tracking behavior. Preferably, the audit references are to resources that describe the auditor and the results of that audit; however, if such a resource is not available, a reference to the auditor is sufficient.

audit         = %x22 "audit" %x22
audit-v       = array-of-refs

5.5.8 6.5.8 Policy Property

An origin server MAY send a property named policy with a string value containing a URI reference to a human-readable document that describes the relevant privacy policy for the designated resource. The content of such a policy document is beyond the scope of this protocol and only supplemental to what is described in the machine-readable tracking status representation. If no policy property is provided, this information might be obtained via the links provided in controller .

policy        = %x22 "policy" %x22
policy-v      = string       ; URI-reference

5.5.9 6.5.9 Edit Config Property

An origin server MAY send a property named edit config with a string value containing a URI reference to a resource for giving the user control over personal data collected via the designated resource (and possibly other resources). If the tracking status value indicates prior consent ( C ), the origin server MUST send an a edit config property referencing a resource that describes how such consent is established and how to revoke that consent.

An edit A config resource might include the ability to review past data collected, delete some or all of the data, provide additional data (if desired), or opt-in , opt-out , or otherwise modify an out-of-band consent status regarding data collection. The design of such a resource, the extent to which it can provide access to that data, and how one might implement an out-of-band consent mechanism are beyond the scope of this protocol.

If no edit config property is provided, this information might be obtained via the links provided in controller or policy .

= %x22 "edit" %x22 = string ; URI-reference
config        = %x22 "config" %x22
config-v      = string       ; URI-reference

5.5.10 6.5.10 Extensions

An origin server MAY send additional extension properties in the status-object to support future enhancements to this protocol. A recipient MUST ignore extension properties that it does not recognize.

extension     = object
array-of-refs = begin-array [ string *( vs string ) ] end-array
            = <name-separator  (:), as defined in [[!RFC4627]]>
            = <value-separator (,), as defined in [[!RFC4627]]>

ns            = <name-separator  (:), as defined in [RFC7159]>
vs            = <value-separator (,), as defined in [RFC7159]>
   = <begin-array     ([), as defined in [[!RFC4627]]>
     = <end-array       (]), as defined in [[!RFC4627]]>
  = <begin-object    ({), as defined in [[!RFC4627]]>
    = <end-object      (}), as defined in [[!RFC4627]]>
        = <object, as defined in [[!RFC4627]]>
        = <string, as defined in [[!RFC4627]]>
          = <true,   as defined in [[!RFC4627]]>
         = <false,  as defined in [[!RFC4627]]>
          = <null,   as defined in [[!RFC4627]]>

begin-array   = <begin-array     ([), as defined in [RFC7159]>
end-array     = <end-array       (]), as defined in [RFC7159]>
begin-object  = <begin-object    ({), as defined in [RFC7159]>
end-object    = <end-object      (}), as defined in [RFC7159]>
object        = <object, as defined in [RFC7159]>
string        = <string, as defined in [RFC7159]>
true          = <true,   as defined in [RFC7159]>
false         = <false,  as defined in [RFC7159]>
null          = <null,   as defined in [RFC7159]>

5.6 6.6 Status Code for Tracking Required

If an origin server receives a request with DNT:1 , does not have out-of-band consent for tracking this user, and wishes to deny access to the requested resource until the user provides some form of user-granted exception or consent for tracking, then the origin server SHOULD send a 409 (Conflict) response with a message payload that describes why the request has been refused and how one might supply the required consent or exception to avoid this conflict [ HTTP-semantics ].

The 409 response ought to include a user authentication mechanism in the header fields and/or message body if user login is one of the ways through which access is granted.

5.7 6.7 Using the Tracking Status

Note

This section is for collecting use cases that describe questions a user agent might have about tracking status and how the protocol can be used to answer such questions. More cases are needed.

5.7.1 6.7.1 Discovering Deployment

Deployment of this protocol for a given service can be discovered by making a retrieval request on the site-wide tracking resource /.well-known/dnt/ relative to the service URI.

If the response is an error, then the service does not implement this standard. If the response is a redirect, then follow the redirect to obtain the tracking status (up to some reasonable maximum of redirects to avoid misconfigured infinite request loops). If the response is successful, obtain the tracking status representation from the message payload, if possible, or consider it an error.

5.7.2 6.7.2 Preflight Checks

A key advantage of providing the tracking status at a resource separate from the site's normal services is that the status can be accessed and reviewed prior to making use of those services and prior to making requests on third-party resources referenced by those services.

A user agent MAY check the tracking status for a designated resource by first making a retrieval request for the site-wide tracking status representation, as described above, and then parsing the representation as JSON to extract the status-object . If the retrieval is unsuccessful or parsing results in a syntax error, the user agent ought to consider the site to be non-conformant with this protocol.

The status-object is supposed to have a property named tracking containing the tracking status value. The meaning of each tracking status value is defined in section 5.2 6.2 Tracking Status Value .

If the tracking status value is N , then the origin server claims that no tracking is performed for the designated resource for at least the next 24 hours or until the Cache-Control information indicates that this response expires.

If the tracking status value is not N , then the origin server claims that it might track the user agent for requests on the URI being checked for at least the next 24 hours or until the Cache-Control information indicates that this response expires.

6. 7. User-Granted Exceptions

6.1 7.1 Overview

This section is non-normative.

User-granted exceptions to Do Not Track, including site-specific exceptions, are agreed between the site and the user, and stored by the user agent. A resource ought to rely on the DNT header it receives to determine the user's preference for tracking with respect to that particular request. An API is provided so that sites may request and check the status of exceptions for tracking.

Note

We envisage that the exceptions may also be usable as a consent mechanism.

6.2 7.2 Motivating Principles and Use Cases

This section is non-normative.

The following principles guide the design of user-agent-managed exceptions.

When asking for a site-specific exception, the top-level origin making the request may be making some implicit or explicit claims as to the actions and behavior of its third parties; for this reason, it might want to establish exceptions for only those for which it is sure that those claims are true. (Consider a site that has some trusted advertisers and analytics providers, and some mashed-up content from less-trusted sites). For this reason, there is support both for explicitly named sites, as well as support for granting an exception to all third-parties on a given site (site-wide exception, using the conceptual wild-card "*").

There are some cases in which a user may desire a site to be allowed to track them on any top-level origin. An API is provided so that the site and the user may establish such a web-wide exception.

6.3 7.3 Exception model

6.3.1 7.3.1 User Interaction

The call to store an exception MUST reflect the user's intention to grant an exception, at the time of the call. This intention MUST be determined by the site prior to each call to store an exception, at the time of the call. (This allows the user to change their mind, and delete a stored exception, which might then trigger the site to explain, and ask for, the exception again). It is the responsibility solely of the site making the call to determine that a call to record an exception reflects the user's informed consent at the time of the call.

Sites MAY ask for an exception, and have it stored, even when the user's general preference is not enabled . (This permits recording a permission to allow tracking in jurisdictions where such permission cannot be assumed – see section 6.8 7.8 Exceptions without interactive JavaScript .)

The user agent MAY provide interfaces to the user:

  • To indicate that a call to store an exception has just been made;
  • To allow the user to confirm a user-granted exception prior to storage;
  • To indicate that one or more exceptions exist for the current top-level origin;
  • To indicate that one or more exceptions exist for sites incorporated into the current page;
  • To allow the user to see and possibly revoke stored exceptions;
  • Other aspects of the exception mechanism, as desired.
There is no required user interface for the user agent; user agents MAY choose to provide no user interface regarding user-granted exceptions.

If the user revokes the consent by deleting the exception, the site MUST respect that revocation (though it may ask again for the exception). The exception mechanism MUST NOT be used when the site will deem consent to exist even after the exception has been revoked.

Note The requirement for the site to determine the user's intention is new; previously the site was required to inform, but the final determination of intention was the responsibility of the UA. This version removes that split of user-determination, and leaves it solely with the site.

6.3.2 7.3.2 Processing Model

This section describes the effect of the APIs in terms of a logical processing model; this model describes the behavior, but is not to be read as mandating any specific implementation.

This API considers exceptions which are double-keyed to two domains: the site , and the target . A user might — for instance — want AnalytiCo to be allowed to track them on Example News, but not on Example Medical. To simplify language used in this API specification, we define three terms:

  • top-level origin is the domain name of the top-level document origin of this DOM: essentially the fully qualified domain name in the address bar.
  • A target site is a domain name which is the target of an HTTP request, and which may be an origin for embedded resources on the indicated top-level origin .
  • The document origin of a script is the domain of origin of the document that caused that script to be loaded (not necessarily the same as the origin of the script itself).

For instance, if the document at http://web.exnews.com/news/story/2098373.html references the resources http://exnews.analytico.net/1x1.gif and http://widgets.exsocial.org/good-job-button.js , the top-level origin is web.exnews.com ; exnews.analytico.net and widgets.exsocial.org are both targets .

The domains that enter into the behavior of the APIs include:

  • As described above, the document origin active at the time of the call, and;
  • Domain names passed to the API.

Domains that enter into the decision over what DNT header to be sent in a given request include:

  • The top-level origin of the current browser context;
  • The target of the request.
Note

Note that these strict, machine-discoverable, concepts may not match the definitions of first and third party; in particular, sites themselves need to determine (and signal) when they get 'promoted' to first party by virtue of user interaction; the UA will not change the DNT header it sends them.

The calls cause the following steps to occur (subject to user confirmation of the exception, if the user agent asks for it):

  • The UA adds to its local database one or more site-pair duplets [document-origin, target]; one or other of these may be a wild-card ("*");
  • While the user is browsing a given site (top-level origin), and a DNT header is to be sent to a target domain, if the duplet [top-level origin, target domain] matches any duplet in the database, then a DNT:0 header is sent, otherwise DNT:1 is sent.

A pair of duplets [A,B] and [X,Y] match if A matches X and B matches Y. A pair of values A and X match if and only if one of the following is true:

  • either A or X is "*";
  • A and X are the same string;
  • A has the form '*.domain' and X is 'domain' or is of the form 'string.domain', where 'string' is any sequence of characters.

In addition, responses to the JavaScript API indicated should be consistent with this user preference (see below).

Note The prior version of this required that the UA "somehow confirms with the user that they agree to the grant of exception, if not already granted" Issue 159 : How do we allow sites that mash-in ad-supported content to maintain their own trusted third parties? [POSTPONED] This model does not support mashed-up content which is in turn supported by ads; it's not clear how to distinguish between embedded content which is embedding ads (and hence the top-level origin stays the same) and embedded content that should start a new context. Proposal : For this version of the specification, we don't address this corner case.

User-agents MUST handle each API request as a 'unit', granting and maintaining it in its entirety, or not at all. That means that a user agent MUST NOT indicate to a site that a request for targets {a, b, c} exists in the database, and later remove only one or two of {a, b, c} from its logical database of remembered grants. This assures sites that the set of sites they need for operational integrity is treated as a unit. Each separate call to an API is a separate unit.

Note

It is left up to individual user agent implementations how to determine and how and whether to store users' tracking preferences.

When an explicit list of domains is provided through the API, their names might mean little to the user. The user might, for example, be told that there is a stored exception for a specific set of sites on such-and-such top-level origin, rather than listing them by name; or the user agent may decide to store, and show to the user, a site-wide exception, effectively ignoring the list of domain names, if supplied.

Conversely, if a wild-card is used, the user may be told that there is a stored exception for all third-parties that are, or will be, embedded on the indicated the top-level origin.

Issue 151 : User Agent Requirement: Be able to handle an exception request [OPEN] There is software that, in just a few lines of code, can spawn DNT:1 or DNT:0 headers regardless of user's will. A requirement on the user agent that they can handle the full exception mechanism will allow to discard compliance statements by those agents. It will also allow also the site to test for conformance by requiring an exception. In case the UA does not react on an exception request, the server could ignore DNT signals from that UA. It would allow thus testing from the horizon of the site without wild guessing; However, there is no practical difference between a UA that hard-wires 'no' to all exception requests, and a UA that does not implement the calls.

6.4 7.4 JavaScript API for Site-specific Exceptions

6.4.1 7.4.1 API to Request a Site-specific Exception

partial interface Navigator {
    void storeSiteSpecificTrackingException (StoreSiteSpecificExceptionPropertyBag properties);
};

storeSiteSpecificTrackingException
Called by a page to store a site-specific tracking exception.
Parameter Type Nullable Optional Description
properties StoreSiteSpecificExceptionPropertyBag
Return type: void
dictionary StoreExceptionPropertyBag {
    DOMString? domain;
    DOMString? siteName;
    DOMString? explanationString;
    DOMString? detailURI;
};

detailURI of type DOMString , nullable
A location at which further information about this request can be found.
domain of type DOMString , nullable
Cookie-like domain string to which the exception applies.
explanationString of type DOMString , nullable
A short explanation of the request.
siteName of type DOMString , nullable
A user-readable string for the name of the top-level origin.
dictionary StoreSiteSpecificExceptionPropertyBag : StoreExceptionPropertyBag {
    sequence<DOMString> arrayOfDomainStrings;
};

arrayOfDomainStrings of type sequence<DOMString>
A JavaScript array of strings.

The storeSiteSpecificTrackingException method takes a dictionary argument of type StoreSiteSpecificExceptionPropertyBag that allows optional information to be provided.

If the request does not include the arrayOfDomainStrings , then this request is for a site-wide exception. Otherwise each string in arrayOfDomainStrings specifies a target . When called, storeSiteSpecificTrackingException MUST return immediately.

If the list arrayOfDomainStrings is supplied, the user agent MAY choose to store a site-wide exception. If it does so it MUST indicate this in the return value.

If domain is not specified or is null or empty then the execution of this API and the use of the resulting permission (if granted) use the 'implicit' parameter, when the API is called, the document origin . This forms the first part of the duplet in the logical model, and hence in operation will be compared with the top-level origin .

If permission is stored for an explicit list, then the set of duplets (one per target):

[document-origin,
target]

is added to the database of remembered grants.

If permission is stored for a site-wide exception, then the duplet:

[document-origin,
*
]

is added to the database of remembered grants.

If domain is supplied and not empty then it is treated in the same way as the domain parameter to cookies and allows setting for subdomains. The domain argument can be set to fully-qualified right-hand segment of the document host name, up to one level below TLD.

Note

For example, www.foo.bar.example.com may set the domain parameter as as "bar.example.com" or "example.com" , but not to "something.else.example.com" or "com" .

If the document-origin would not be able to set a cookie on the domain following the cookie domain rules [ COOKIES ] (e.g. domain is not a right-hand match or is a TLD) then the duplet MUST NOT not be entered into the database and a SYNTAX_ERR exception SHOULD be thrown.

If permission is stored for an explicit list, then the set of duplets (one per target):

[*.domain,
target]

is added to the database of remembered grants.

If permission is stored for a site-wide exception, then the duplet:

[*.domain,
*
]

is added to the database of remembered grants.

A particular response to the API — like a DNT response header — is only valid immediately, and users may choose to edit the list of stored exceptions and revoke some or all of them.

Note The prior version of this call was asynchronous with a call-back; the change to require the site to determine the user's wishes, rather than the UA, enabled this to become synchronous. This is simpler; the user agent may still ask for the user's approval. Sites wishing to know whether an exception stands, or the DNT header that they would receive, should call the appropriate enquiry API.

6.4.2 7.4.2 API to Cancel a Site-specific Exception

partial interface Navigator {
    void removeSiteSpecificTrackingException (RemoveExceptionPropertyBag properties);
};

removeSiteSpecificTrackingException

If domain is not supplied or is null or empty then this ensures that the database of remembered grants no longer contains any duplets for which the first part is the current document origin; i.e., no duplets [document-origin, target] for any target.

If domain is supplied and is not empty then this ensures that the database of remembered grants no longer contains any duplets for which the first part is the domain wildcard; i.e., no duplets [*.domain, target] for any target.

There is no callback. After the call has been made, it is assured that there are no site-specific or site-wide exceptions for the given top-level origin.

Parameter Type Nullable Optional Description
properties RemoveExceptionPropertyBag
Return type: void
dictionary RemoveExceptionPropertyBag {
    DOMString? domain;
};

domain of type DOMString , nullable
Cookie-like domain string to which the exception applies.

When this method returns the database of grants no longer contains the indicated grant(s); if some kind of processing error occurred then an appropriate exception will be thrown.

Note

If there are no matching duplets in the database of remembered grants when the method is called then this operation does nothing (and does not throw an exception).

6.4.3 7.4.3 API to Confirm a Site-specific Exception

partial interface Navigator {
    boolean confirmSiteSpecificTrackingException (ConfirmSiteSpecificExceptionPropertyBag properties);
};

confirmSiteSpecificTrackingException
Called by a page to confirm a site-specific tracking exception.
Parameter Type Nullable Optional Description
properties ConfirmSiteSpecificExceptionPropertyBag
Return type: boolean
dictionary ConfirmExceptionPropertyBag {
    DOMString? domain;
};

domain of type DOMString , nullable
Cookie-like domain string to which the exception applies.
dictionary ConfirmSiteSpecificExceptionPropertyBag : ConfirmExceptionPropertyBag {
    sequence<DOMString> arrayOfDomainStrings;
};

arrayOfDomainStrings of type sequence<DOMString>
A JavaScript array of strings.

If the call does not include the arrayOfDomainStrings , then this call is to confirm a site-wide exception. Otherwise each string in arrayOfDomainStrings specifies a target .

If the list arrayOfDomainStrings is supplied, and the user agent stores only site-wide exceptions, then the user agent MUST match by confirming a site-wide exception.

If the domain argument is not supplied or is null or empty then the execution of this API uses the 'implicit' parameter, when the API is called, the document origin . This forms the first part of the duplet in the logical model.

If the user agent stores explicit lists, and the call includes one, the database is checked for the existence of all the duplets (one per target):

[document-origin,
target]

If the user agent stores only site-wide exceptions or the call did not include an explicit list, the database is checked for the single duplet:

[document-origin,
*
]

If the user agent stores explicit lists, and the call includes one, and the domain argument is provided and is not empty then the database is checked for the existence of all the duplets (one per target):

[*.domain,
target]

If the user agent stores only site-wide exceptions or the call did not include an explicit list, and the domain argument is provided and is not empty then the database is checked for the single duplet:

[*.domain,
*
]

The returned boolean has the following possible values:

  • true all the duplets exist in the database;
  • false one or more of the duplets does not exist in the database.

6.5 7.5 JavaScript API for Web-wide Exceptions

6.5.1 7.5.1 API to Request a Web-wide Exception

partial interface Navigator {
    void storeWebWideTrackingException (StoreExceptionPropertyBag properties);
};

storeWebWideTrackingException
The single duplet [ * , document-origin] or [ * , *.domain] (based on if domain is provided and is not null and not empty) is added to the database of remembered grants. The properties of the StoreExceptionPropertyBag dictionary are as described above in the request for site-specific exceptions.
Parameter Type Nullable Optional Description
properties StoreExceptionPropertyBag
Return type: void

This API requests the addition of a web-wide grant for a specific site, to the database.

Note As above, this call used to be asynchronous, and the change to the UI enabled it to be synchronous.

6.5.2 7.5.2 API to Cancel a Web-wide Exception

partial interface Navigator {
    void removeWebWideTrackingException (RemoveExceptionPropertyBag properties);
};

removeWebWideTrackingException
Ensures that the database of remembered grants no longer contains the duplet [ * , document-origin] or [ * , *.domain] (based on if domain is provided and is not null and not empty). There is no callback. After the call has been made, the indicated pair is assured not to be in the database. The same matching as is used for determining which header to send is used to detect which entry (if any) to remove from the database.
Parameter Type Nullable Optional Description
properties RemoveExceptionPropertyBag
Return type: void

6.5.3 7.5.3 API to Confirm a Web-wide Exception

partial interface Navigator {
    boolean confirmWebWideTrackingException (ConfirmExceptionPropertyBag properties);
};

confirmWebWideTrackingException
Parameter Type Nullable Optional Description
properties ConfirmExceptionPropertyBag
Return type: boolean

This API confirms the existence of a web-wide grant for a specific site, in the database.

The returned boolean indicates whether the duplet [ * , document-origin] or [ * , *.domain] (based on if domain is provided and is not null and not empty) exists in the database.

  • true indicates that the web-wide exception exists;
  • false indicates that the web-wide exception does not exist.

6.6 7.6 Transfer of an exception to another third party

A site may request an exception for one or more third party services used in conjunction with its own offer. Those third party services may wish to use other third parties to complete the request in a chain of interactions. The first party will not necessarily know in advance whether a known third party will use some other third parties.

If a user agent sends a tracking exception to a given combination of origin server and a named third party, the user agent will send DNT:0 to that named third party. By receiving the DNT:0 header, the named third party acquires the permission to track the user agent and collect the data and process it in any way allowed by the legal system it is operating in.

Furthermore, the named third party receiving the DNT:0 header acquires at least the right to collect data and process it for the given interaction and any secondary other use unless it receives a DNT:1 header from that particular identified user agent.

The named third party is also allowed to transmit the collected data for uses related to this interaction to its own sub-services and sub-sub-services (transitive permission). The tracking permission request triggered by the origin server is thus granted to the named third party and its sub-services. This is even true for sub-services that would normally receive a DNT:1 web-wide preference from the user agent if the user agent interacted with this service directly.

For advertisement networks this typically would mean that the collection and auction system chain can use the data for that interaction and combine it with existing profiles and data. The sub-services to the named third party do not acquire an independent right to process the data for independent secondary uses unless they, themselves, receive a DNT:0 header from the user agent (as a result of their own request or the request of a first-party). In our example of advertisement networks that means the sub-services can use existing profiles in combination with the data received, but they can not store the received information into a profile until they have received a DNT:0 of their own.

A named third party acquiring an exception with this mechanism MUST make sure that sub-services it uses acknowledge this constraint by requiring the use of the appropriate tracking status value of 'C' (consent), and the qualifier "t", from its sub-sub-services.

The permission acquired by the DNT mechanism does not override retention limitations found in the legal system the content provider or the named third party are operating in.

6.7 7.7 User interface guidelines

This section is non-normative.

As described above, it is the responsibility solely of the site making the call to determine that an exception grant reflects the user's informed consent at the time of the call.

It is expected that the site will explain, in its online content, the need for an exception, and the consequences of granting or denying an exception, to the user.

User agents are free to implement exception management user interfaces as they see fit. Some agents might provide a notification to the user at the time of the request, or even not complete the storing of the exception until the user approves. Some agents might provide a user-interface to see and edit the database of recorded exception grants. The API parameters siteName, explanationString, and detailURI are provided so that the user agent may use them in their user interface.

A user agent that chooses to highlight when tracking exceptions have been stored might provide an interface like the following.

In some user agent implementations, decisions to grant exceptions may have been made in the past (and since forgotten) or may have been made by other users of the device. Thus, exceptions may not always represent the current preferences of the user. Some user agents might choose to provide ambient notice that user-opted tracking is ongoing, or easy access to view and control these preferences. Users may desire options to edit exceptions either at the time of tracking or in a separate user interface. This might allow the user to edit their preferences for a site they do not trust without visiting that site.

6.8 7.8 Exceptions without interactive JavaScript

This section is non-normative.

Some third party servers may wish to receive user-granted exceptions but when they are invoked as third parties (using, for example, images, or "tracking pixels") do not have an interactive JavaScript presence on the page. They cannot request an exception under these circumstances, both because a script is needed, and because they are required to explain to the user the need for and consequences of granting an exception, and get the user's consent. In general this process of informing, getting consent, and calling the API is not expected to be in the page where such trackers are invoked.

To obtain an exception, a document (page, frame, etc.) that loads the Javascript is needed. The user may visit the site that desires an exception directly, the first party site could load a frame of the site desiring the exception, or that frame might be part of some other page containing a number of frames, which allows aggregation of requests for exceptions.

In all these ways, the site is contributing to informing the user and getting their consent, and is also able to call the Javascript API when it is granted.

Note Depending on the resolution of options for the User-Granted Exceptions section, this language might need to be updated to correspond.

6.9 7.9 Exceptions without a DNT header

Sites might wish to request exceptions even when a user arrives without a DNT header. Users might wish to grant affirmative permission to tracking on or by certain sites even without expressing general tracking preferences.

User agents MAY instantiate navigator.storeSiteSpecificTrackingException even when navigator.doNotTrack window.doNotTrack is null. Scripts SHOULD test for the existence of storeSiteSpecificTrackingException before calling the method. If an exception is granted in this context and the user agent stores that preference, a user agent may send a DNT:0 header field even if a tracking preference isn't expressed for other requests. Persisted preferences MAY also affect which header is transmitted if a user later chooses to express a tracking preference.

Note

Users might not configure their agents to have simple values for DNT, but use different browsing modes or other contextual information to decide on a DNT value. What algorithm a user agent employs to determine DNT values (or the lack thereof) is out of the scope of this specification.

6.10 7.10 Exception use by sites

This section is non-normative.

This section is to inform the authors of sites on some considerations in using the exceptions APIs to best effect; sites of particular interest here are those that need an exception in order to allow the user to perform some operation or to have some access.

The 'Store' calls do not have a return value, and return immediately. If there is a problem with the calling parameters, then a Javascript exception will be raised. In addition, it may be that the user agent does not immediately store the exception, possibly because it is allowing the user to confirm. Even though the site has acquired the user's informed consent before calling the 'Store' API, it is possible that the user will change their mind, and allow the store to proceed but then later ask it be removed, or even by denying the storage in the first place.

Note The use of the word 'exception' both to describe the user granting something, and for a problem in Javascript, is an unfortunate clash here.

Sites can call the 'Confirm' APIs to enquire whether a specific exception has been granted and stands in the user agent. This is the call to make to determine whether the exception exists, and hence to control access to the function or operation; if it fails (the exception has been deleted, or not yet granted), then the user is ideally again offered the information needed to give their informed consent, and again offered the opportunity to indicate that they grant it. As stated in the normative text, the site needs to explain and acquire consent immediately prior to calling the Store API, and not remember some past consent; this allows the user to change their mind.

If they do grant it (using some positive interaction such as a button), the site can return to checking the 'Confirm' API.

In this way the site:

6.11 7.11 Fingerprinting

By storing a client-side configurable state and providing functionality to learn about it later, this API might facilitate user fingerprinting and tracking. User agent developers ought to consider the possibility of fingerprinting during implementation and might consider rate-limiting requests or using other heuristics to mitigate fingerprinting risk.

A. Acknowledgements

This specification consists of input from many discussions within and around the W3C Tracking Protection Working Group, along with written contributions from Adrian Bateman (Microsoft), Justin Brookman (CDT), Nick Doty ( W3C / MIT ), Marcos Caceres (Mozilla), Rob van Eijk (Invited Expert), Roy T. Fielding (Adobe), Vinay Goel (Adobe), Tom Lowenthal (Mozilla), Jonathan Mayer (Stanford), Aleecia M. McDonald (Stanford), Mike O'Neill (Baycloud Systems), Matthias Schunter (Intel), John Simpson (Consumer Watchdog), David Singer (Apple), David Wainberg (Network Advertising Initiative), Rigo Wenning ( W3C / ERCIM ), Shane Wiley (Yahoo!), and Andy Zeigler (Microsoft).

The DNT header field is based on the original Do Not Track submission by Jonathan Mayer (Stanford), Arvind Narayanan (Stanford), and Sid Stamm (Mozilla). The JavaScript DOM property for doNotTrack is based on the Web Tracking Protection submission by Andy Zeigler, Adrian Bateman, and Eliot Graff (Microsoft). Many thanks to Robin Berjon for ReSpec.js.

B. Registrations

The Internet media type application/tracking-status+json is used for tracking status representations ( section 6.5 Tracking Status Representation ).

Type name:
application
Subtype name:
tracking-status+json
Required parameters:
N/A
Optional parameters:
N/A
Encoding considerations:
binary
Security considerations:
See JSON [RFC7159], Section 12.
Interoperability considerations:
N/A
Published specification:
Tracking Preference Expression (DNT), section 6.5 Tracking Status Representation .
http://www.w3.org/TR/tracking-dnt/
Applications that use this media type:
N/A
Fragment identifier considerations:
N/A
Additional information:
Deprecated alias names for this type: N/A
Magic number(s): N/A
File extension(s): N/A
Macintosh file type code(s): N/A
Person & email address to contact for further information:
W3C Tracking Protection Working Group <public-tracking@w3.org>
Intended usage:
COMMON
Restrictions on usage:
N/A
Author(s):
Roy T. Fielding and David Singer
Change controller:
W3C

B. C. References

B.1 C.1 Normative references

[ABNF]
D. Crocker; P. Overell. Augmented BNF for Syntax Specifications: ABNF . January 2008. STD. URL: http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc5234.txt
[COOKIES]
A. Barth. HTTP State Management Mechanism . April 2011. RFC. URL: http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc6265.txt
[HTTP]
Roy T. Fielding; Julian Reschke. Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Message Syntax and Routing . 17 November 2013. 6 February 2014. Internet-Draft. URL: http://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-ietf-httpbis-p1-messaging/
[HTTP-cache]
Roy T. Fielding; Mark Nottingham; Julian Reschke. Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Caching . 17 November 2013. 6 February 2014. Internet-Draft. URL: http://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-ietf-httpbis-p6-cache/
[HTTP-semantics]
Roy T. Fielding; Julian Reschke. Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Semantics and Content . 17 November 2013. 6 February 2014. Internet-Draft. URL: http://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-ietf-httpbis-p2-semantics/
[RFC2119]
S. Bradner. Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels. March 1997. Internet RFC 2119. URL: http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2119.txt [RFC4627]
[RFC7159]
D. Crockford. Tim Bray, Ed.. The application/json Media Type for JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) (RFC 4627) Data Interchange Format . July 2006. RFC. March 2014. Internet RFC 7159. URL: http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc4627.txt http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc7159.txt
[WEBIDL]
Cameron McCormack. Web IDL . 19 April 2012. W3C Candidate Recommendation. URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/WebIDL/

B.2 C.2 Informative references

[KnowPrivacy]
Joshua Gomez; Travis Pinnick; Ashkan Soltani. KnowPrivacy. 1 June 2009. URL: http://www.knowprivacy.org/report/KnowPrivacy_Final_Report.pdf
[RFC5785]
Mark Nottingham; Eran Hammer-Lahav. Defining Well-Known Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) (RFC 5785) . April 2010. RFC. URL: http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc5785.txt
[TCS]
Heather West; Justin Brookman; Sean Harvey; Erica Newland. Tracking Compliance and Scope . 08 April 2014. W3C Editor's Draft. URL: http://www.w3.org/2011/tracking-protection/drafts/tracking-compliance.html
[URI-TEMPLATE]
Joe Gregorio; Roy T. Fielding; Marc Hadley; Mark Nottingham; David Orchard. URI Template . March 2012. RFC 6570. URL: http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc6570.txt