The privacy movement battling to standardize “Do Not Track” (DNT) policies on web browsers — which would stop advertisers from targeting people based on their browsing history — took another major hit Tuesday night.
Peter Swire, who signed on to co-chair the Tracking Protection Working Group (TPWG) less than a year ago, announced that he was leaving in an email last night.
“Today the White House announced that I will be serving on President Obama’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology,” Swire wrote. “I feel a sense of responsibility in being asked to serve on the Review Group, and to do so as effectively as possible. I therefore have informed Jeff Jaffe of W3C that I will not be able to continue as co-chair of the Working Group.”
This isn’t the first major player to leave TPWG.
Out of frustration, rather than a new position, Jonathan Mayer — who became a vocal player in the privacy movement — resigned less than one month ago.
Mayer complained that following two years, 7,148 emails, 78 conference calls, 10 in-person meetings, and five “final deadline” postponements, too little was happening too slowly.
“The group remains at an impasse,” he wrote in an email that listed many grievances with the group.
While the disorganization and string of resignations don’t bode well for privacy advocates, advertisers will doubtlessly find the group’s difficulties promising, particularly given the harsh reaction their suggestions for a more moderate DNT policies were met with.
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