The World Wide Web Consortium (“W3C”) Tracking Protection Working Group (“TPWG”) on Wednesday announced the addition of two new chairs to spearhead its efforts to craft an online tracking mechanism. The new chairs, Center for Democracy and Technology Director Justin Brookman, and Adobe Systems, Inc. Carl Cargill will be joining Intel Corp.’s Matthias Schunter in leading the Group. This move comes in the wake of the TPWG’s loss of member Digital Advertising Alliance on September 18th.
The new three-person leadership team is designed to embody the disparate skillsets and knowledge bases required to establish and implement a working online tracking mechanism. Brookman, a consumer privacy project director, has taken an active role in crafting standards for companies who receive a Do-Not-Track message. Cargill, on the other hand, is a standards principal who has achieved in-depth knowledge of the W3C process through his long history with the organization. The two join current co-chair Schunter, a technical expert who has focused on drafting the standard’s technical means for sending a Do-Not-Track signal.
During the Group’s meeting on Tuesday, the new chairs acted quickly to establish momentum and quash any notions that the DAA’s withdraw signals the beginning of the end for the TPWG. Notably, the chairs set forth a new plan, which includes updated working drafts and rules for feedback submission.
Despite the fresh energy, Brookman, in a Wednesday post on his Center for Democracy and Technology Blog, stated that he knows “this could be a short-term gig.” In November, the TPWG will vote on whether to continue its work under a new process or, simply, to end. Brookman went on to note that the “vote is a (perhaps belated) recognition that the existing process just isn’t working,” a sentiment which echoes the concerns voiced by the DAA in terminating its membership.
Brookman and Cargill replace prior co-chair Peter Swire who, no longer seeing the TPWG as a path to a workable standard, left his role to focus on his work as a member of President Barack Obama’s surveillance review group.