Wednesday, July 14, 2021 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Privacy War in the W3C

Issie Lapowsky (Hacker News):

But appealing to antitrust regulators was only one prong in Rosewell’s plan to get Google to delay its so-called Privacy Sandbox initiative. The other prong: becoming a member of the World Wide Web Consortium, or the W3C.

[…]

But what is perhaps more alarming, Soltani and Snyder argue, is that the new entrants from the ad-tech industry and elsewhere aren’t just trying to derail standards that could hurt their businesses; they’re proposing new ones that could actually enshrine tracking under the guise of privacy. “Fortunately in a forum like the W3C, folks are smart enough to get the distinction,” Soltani said. “Unfortunately, policymakers won’t.”

Nick Heer:

The “tech giant” framing of this piece obscures the multisided battle that is going on within these discussions. There are browser vendors — like Apple and Brave — that are more privacy-conscious, but with conflicts of interest, as well as people who advocate for these features with fewer conflicts. There are representatives of the big privacy-hostile tech companies: Google and Microsoft have web browsers, while Amazon and Facebook do not. And then there are ad tech companies that are smaller than the big tech companies but, as I have repeatedly argued, can be almost as creepy.

Previously:

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