[Servercert-wg] Ballot SC22: Reduce Certificate Lifetimes

Tobias S. Josefowitz tobij at opera.com
Mon Aug 19 15:56:24 MST 2019

Hi Ryan,

On Mon, 19 Aug 2019, Ryan Sleevi via Servercert-wg wrote:

> I'm just curious what sort of information the respondents may have
> received, since that can be a well-known biasing factor of surveys, known
> as "priming". Such biases can unfortunately undermine much of the
> legitimacy or value of such surveys, and that's why it seemed useful to
> understand the sequencing of events. My understanding is that this post was
> included as a preface to the survey link, and thus may have
> (unintentionally?) served to prime and bias respondents in a way that may
> have negatively influenced the result. Is it a possibility that the survey
> was spoiled like this?

I would wager that, if you conducted a completely clean survey and asked: 
"Why do you use SSL/TLS certificates on your website" and included a 
possible response of "Our users/customers will complain if there is no 
lock icon", that one would probably win.

In line with that, I doubt the referenced post would prime the 
participants of said survey to much but their own, en masse not terribly 
informed opinion.

It would go against my expectations if any such survey showed a nuanced 
understanding of regulatory challenges present in the ecosystem.

I am not sure what you expect here, but if it in fact was vastly different 
from the survey results as presented by digicert, you might want to 
reflect on that.


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