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Personal overall lessons from the Sophia-Antipolis workshop of 2019.05.22-23

  • Lawyers need to "steer" more technologists towards what is interesting for enforcement, which might be different from what is interesting from an engineering standpoint.
  • Technologists have some difficulty in expressing what is being measured, some words actually seem to be missing.
    • The dichotomy first party/third party is losing some of the utility that it carried before: third-party analytics cookies are behaving like first party cookies. In reality, there are chains of calls from n to n+1.
    • If we want to be precise there are two technical levels to describe what is going on:
      • Layer 1 is on the graph of calls, and why those calls are made. Reasons can include:
        • fetching an image (like a tracking pixel);
        • fetching a script;
        • fetching some other type of content (which? <please fill!>);
        • redirects, of which there might be more than one kind;
        • others? <please fill!>
      • Layer 2 describes the packets of information circulating over this graph of calls. Tiny tidbits get exchanged:
        • through automatic sending of cookies when reaching out to the right domain;
        • as URL parameters in redirects
        • others? <please fill!>
  • Lawyers and technologists are somewhat talking past each other, which is natural:
    • technologists have no settled vocabulary on their side to explain what is happening, with the granularity necessary for the lawyers to provide opinions
    • "it depends": vocabulary in law is by definition stretchable and/or carries heavy meaning.