World Wide Web 
Consortium

World Wide Web Consortium Demonstrates P3P Implementations

Companies Unveil Products Supporting W3C's Platform for Privacy Preferences

Contact --
Janet Daly, <janet@w3.org>, +1.617.253.5884 or +1.617.253.2613

(also available in Japanese)


http://www.w3.org/ -- 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 protoypes, to test them with other P3P services, and to provide input into the P3P design process. The protoypes 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 wishes.

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 privacy.

Companies Deliver Prototypes, Make Sites P3P Conformant

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), EngageTechnologies, 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 Gamble, 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 W3C is planning a second interoperability event in Europe in September 2000.

W3C's P3P specification represents the broadest technical consensus on how 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, Phone.com, 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 Consortium.