November 29, 2012

Stu Ingis quoted in Law360 on leadership change in web tracking working group

2 min

Venable partner Stu Ingis was quoted in a Law360 article on November 28, 2012, regarding the induction of Ohio State University law professor Peter Swire to a co-chair position of the World Wide Web Consortium. The tracking protection working group is composed of advertising companies, browser makers, consumer groups, government agencies and other stakeholders whose common objective is to create a browser-based solution that allows users to block online tracking.

Ingis said "the group's struggles may stem from trying to assume a huge policy role instead of focusing on setting a workable browser-based tracking standard, an overreach that the new co-chair's skill set seems equipped to address." He added "With Peter's involvement, I anticipate that the W3C process will focus more specifically on technical standards setting, rather than public policy creation."

Ingis continued, saying "A challenge that has faced the W3C working group has been its foray into the broader area of public policy development, an area that extends beyond its more traditional technological expertise. Peter should be able to help the W3C better define and navigate the lines of technology standard setting and its relationship to public policy development."

He also explained that despite Swire's potential ability to reorient the discussions in the working group, "a mere change in leadership was unlikely to push the process to a successful resolution. Having a new person in there is not going to change the result, which is likely to be tied not to personality but rather to the structure of the process." Ingis concluded, saying "The group doesn't just need a new quarterback; they need to run different plays."