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Is SWAN a Redirect Tracker? #1

PedroAlvarado opened this issue Apr 8, 2021 · 2 comments

Is SWAN a Redirect Tracker? #1

PedroAlvarado opened this issue Apr 8, 2021 · 2 comments


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The way SWAN describes its data flow seems to resemble a "Redirect Tracker"[0][1]. Several browsers are taking steps or have expressed interest to impede this form of web interaction[2][3][4][5].

For those of us who are working to understand this proposal, it'd be great to understand the position of the SWAN-community on the subject.

Thank you


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To quote Matthew Paris (respected British journalist and a “national treasure”) from his “The 31 inventions that Britain really needs” article in February 2021.

"A device that automatically accepts/rejects all internet cookies without asking every time."

All web browsers vendors who are members of the W3C agree that people are the primary constituent of the web.

Brave and Mozilla support Global Privacy Control(GPC) on which SWAN was based.

SWAN requires a common commercial contract, known as Model Terms, to be entered into between senders and receivers of the SWAN data. This not only ensures there is common meaning associated with the data but defines permitted uses depending on whether personalized marketing is accepted or rejected.

All receivers of the SWAN data are required to cryptographically sign their use of the data and make this signature available in a form that the user can inspect. The demonstration shows this feature in the information icon of the advert, or by selecting the advert. Parties to the model terms must all publish their privacy policy, including specific words in that policy, and provide a method of people contacting them if they think their data has been used to harm them. The demonstrations show this via a pre-populated email to the SWAN party.


In time SWAN community will work with others to move the cross-domain storage mechanism into the web browser to create a faster user experience. Such a storage mechanism must only be accessible to parties that have signed up to the Model Terms and are not in breach. Once a standard exists it will be up to each browser vendor to decide if they wished to support it. SWAN doesn't prevent choices for anyone. Now would be a really good time to ask legal professionals to review the Model Terms. If you'd like to talk to the professionals behind them we have a series of drop in events throughout April and early May.

SWAN is a solution that gives meaningful choice and privacy to people, publishers and advertisers. It achieves this by combining the professions of law, economics and engineering. Some of the problems associated with engineering or regulatory complexity seen in other solutions are addressed via the use of legal contracts and economics.

I agree with Tim Cook then he states…

"All we’re doing … is giving the user the choice whether to be tracked or not."

… in a April 5th interview with Kara Swisher.

I expect rationale people who believe in the rule of law to either support SWAN, or at least not interfere with its operation. If there is interference, then SWAN provides a user interface that can advise people how to change their browser settings to prevent interference and provide smoother access to the web. After all people are the primary constituent on the web.

Should SWAN be widely adopted then people like Matthew Paris will appreciate expressing their preferences once and not being asked over and over again. They will appreciate getting access to the content they want to experience quicker, knowing that their choices are respected. All publishers small and large will be able to explain the value exchange between advertising and providing quality free services in words they choose.

In time a “Trust Shield” could be added to the UI of the browser confirming the integrity of the supply chain. Wouldn’t that be a step forward?


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pes10k commented Apr 9, 2021

Brave and Mozilla support Global Privacy Control(GPC) on which SWAN was based.

I will just say that this should not be read or understood by anyone as Brave supporting SWAN in any way. We'll say more shortly, but want to avoid any possible confusion here.

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