News Release: World Wide Web Consortium Demonstrates P3P Implementations

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From: Janet Daly (
Date: Wed Jun 21 2000 - 09:35:46 PDT

For more information please contact Janet Daly, W3C Head of
Communications, at +1 617 253 5884.

World Wide Web Consortium Demonstrates P3P Implementations

Companies Unveil Products Supporting W3C's Platform for Privacy

Contact --
Janet Daly, <>, +1.617.253.5884 or +1.617.253.2613 -- 21 June 2000 -- Over 30 leading technology
companies, privacy advocates, and other organizations gathered in
New York City, USA, to conduct the first public tests and
demonstrate implementations of the Platform for Privacy
Preferences Project (P3P), the World Wide Web Consortium's
(W3C) Web privacy technology.

W3C's public "interoperability session" gave companies the
opportunity to unveil new prototypes, to test them with other
P3P services, and to provide input into the P3P design process.
The prototypes are early versions of P3P-compliant tools expected
to be offered to end users in the coming year.

P3P Makes Privacy Statements Understandable to Computers and
Users Web users want to know how the sites they visit use their
personal information. Some companies have made efforts to publicly
disclose the privacy policies of their Web sites, but the policies
are often difficult to find and understand. Web users need to be
able to know quickly and with confidence whether a company engages
in information sharing practices that meet or conflict with their

P3P enables anyone with a Web site to translate their privacy
practices into XML-based P3P statements that can be retrieved
automatically and easily interpreted by a P3P-enabled browser.

P3P-enabled services will enhance user control by putting
privacy policies where users can find them, presenting policies
in a form that users can understand, and enabling users to make
informed decisions based on those policies. For ecommerce services
and other Web sites, P3P can be used to offer seamless browsing
experiences for customers without leaving them guessing about

Companies Deliver Prototypes, Make Sites P3P Conform
The interoperability session provided an opportunity for
more than 10 organizations and companies from around the world
to demonstrate P3P implementations.

The Electronic Network Consortium (ENC), Engage Technologies,
IDcide, Microsoft Corporation, and YOUpowered demonstrated P3P
client implementations. IBM and PrivacyBot demonstrated P3P policy
generators, which enable sites to translate their privacy policies
into P3P. Informal demonstrations of prototypes were provided by GMD,
PrivacyExchange, and W3C.

In addition, many companies and organizations announced that their
sites or portions of their sites are now P3P-compliant, including
AmericaOnline, AT&T, the Center for Democracy and Technology,
Engage Technologies, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, Proctor and
W3C, and the United States White House.

P3P Development Continues with International Contributions
P3P provides the framework for machine-readable privacy policies,
so that users can access sites around the world and remain aware
of how their information is being used. The P3P privacy vocabulary
can be adapted to cover the diversity of privacy regulations around
the world.

As part of ensuring a truly world-wide Web, W3C encourages international
contributions to P3P through review and implementation. P3P-compliant
software from Germany and Japan was demonstrated at this session, and
is planning a second interoperability event in Europe in September 2000.

W3C's P3P specification represents the broadest technical consensus on
to design tools that enhance privacy and commerce on the Web. P3P
technology is created through a consensus process with representatives
from more than a dozen W3C Member organizations, including CDT,
Citigroup, Crystaliz, Geotrust, GMD, IBM, Microsoft, NCR, NEC,
Nokia,, PrivacyBank, as well as invited privacy experts
from around the world, including Ann Cavoukian, Ontario's
Information and Privacy Commissioner.

The P3P specification is currently a W3C Working Draft. The
experience of implementers around the world, including those
participating at this interoperability session, will be critical
in shaping the final technology design.

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]
The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by
developing common protocols that promote its evolution and
ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry
consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science
(MIT LCS) in the USA, the National Institute for Research in
Computer Science and Control (INRIA) in France and Keio University
in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository
of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users,
and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of
new technology. To date, over 420 organizations are Members of the

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