The Do Not Track negotiations that have been taking place between advertisers and privacy advocates took a heavy blow yesterday when the Digital Advertising Alliance announced that it would be leaving the talks. Their departure caused some to wonder if the negotiations could continue without one of its major players, but the W3C has already put those fears to rest.
The Hill reports that the W3C has named two new co-chairs to the Do Not Track working group. The first is Carl Cargill, Adobe's Standards Principal, and the other is Justin Brookman, director of the Consumer Privacy Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology. The two will join existing chair Matthias Schunter, Chief Technologist at Intel.
Now, the first question is whether or not these two new appointees are in any way related to the DAA walking out yesterday. The answer to that would be probably not as the W3C seems to have already selected these new co-chairs in response to former co-chair Peter Swire leaving the group to join President Obama's NSA review panel.
While the DAA's departure may have not informed these decisions, the announcement was made official on Tuesday evening in response to their departure. On the official W3C blog, CEO Jeff Jaffe says that these new co-chairs will lead them forward with "renewed momentum." He also hopes that the DAA will continue to watch the negotiations and rejoin once it sees that progress is being made.
With its new co-chairs, the W3C had better hope that it's able to make steady progress on reaching some kind of consensus in regards to Do Not Track standards. The DAA's departure threatens the stability of the talks, and Washington is waiting with federal regulation in case the negotiations permanently break down.[Image: Center For Democracy & Technology]