21 June 2000 Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) Project Interop Report

On June 21, 2000, about 100 people gathered at the AT&T building at 32 Avenue of the Americas in New York to witness the first public tests and demonstrations of the Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P). 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. [See Interop agenda, interop mailing list archive]

Presentations and Demos

Daniel Weitzner (W3C), Harriet Pearson (IBM), Deirdre Mulligan (CDT), and Lorrie Cranor (AT&T) gave opening remarks, including background and an overview of P3P [PowerPoint slides]. Implementers then demoed four P3P user agent implementations and two P3P policy generators. The demos were followed by a question and answer period. Attendees were then invited to try the presented demos as well as some additional demos that were setup on computers around the room.

User Agent Demos

Ron Perry from IDcide demoed a version of the IDcide Privacy Companion augmented with P3P. The Privacy Companion is a browser extension that allows users to find out whether a site is using cookies, including third party cookies, and also to block all cookies and/or third-party cookies. With P3P added, users can customize their settings to only block cookies from sites that do not match their privacy preferences. [screen shots of IDcide Privacy Companion]

Noboru Shimizu from the Electronic Network Consortium (ENC) demoed the Privacy Information Management System. The browser component uses a proxy server that fetches P3P policies and compares them with user preferences. The system also includes an authoring tool that can generate P3P policies and a site bureau where Web sites can register their privacy policies.

Chris McLaren and David Zimmerman from YOUpowered demoed a version of Orby Privacy Plus augmented with P3P. Orby allows users to accept or deny cookies while surfing, automatically fill out forms, and determine how well a site matches their privacy preferences. The Orby Trust Meter displays a trust rating determined by analyzing a site's P3P policy. Users can click to get more detailed information about the site's policy and the factors that went into determining the rating. YOUpowered has also developed a tool for authoring P3P policies. [screen shot of Orby toolbar]

Greg Hampson from Microsoft demoed prototype P3P user agent software developed jointly with AT&T. This user agent is implemented as a browser helper object for Internet Explorer. When users install this software, it adds a privacy button to the top of their browser window. Clicking on this button brings up a window where users can set their privacy preferences, check how well a site's P3P policy matches their preferences, or view a site's privacy policy in P3P or human-readable format. [screen shot of preference setting window]

Policy Generator Demos

John Newman from PrivacyBot.com demoed the PrivacyBot system for generating privacy policies in both human-readable and P3P format. The PrivacyBot system is accessed via a web browser and does not require users to download any additional software. Users fill out a series of online questionnaires in order to create their privacy policies. The software is already available to customers.

Martin Presler-Marshall from IBM demoed a P3P Policy Editor. This is a visual tool for creating P3P policies. Users can use a mouse to drag various policy elements into place and view the results in both XML and English. The tool includes extensive documentation. Beta software is available for download free of charge.

P3P Compliant Web Sites

Over a dozen Web sites were made P3P compliant in time for the event including:

Tatiana Gau from AOL, Barbara Lawler from Hewlett-Packard, and Mel Peterson from Procter & Gamble spoke briefly about the process of making their sites P3P compliant.

These web sites were tested with the W3C P3P Validator and the demoed user agents.


The P3P Specification working group held an open meeting after lunch. The group discussed each of the demos and compiled a list of issues that need further discussion.

User Interface Ideas and Issues

Specification Working Group Issues

Next Steps

The P3P Specification Working Group will discuss the issues raised at the Interop as well as other issues that have been raised since the May 10 working draft was issued. The group will try to resolve these issues and release a new working draft in August. This draft is expected to have a two-week public review period before the group begins the process of advancing towards a W3C recommendation.


Attendees included representatives from the following companies and organizations:

America Online, AT&T, Bank of America, CDT, Chase Manhattan, DMA, DoubleClick, ENC, Engage, FTC, GMD, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, IDcide, ID-Vault, Intel, ISTPA, JunkBusters, Microsoft, NCR, New Jersey State General Assembly, New York State Office of the Attorney General, Privacy Exchange, Privacybot.com, Privada, PrivaSeek, Proctor & Gamble, RealNames, Sony, TRUSTe, U.S. Department of Commerce, W3C, YOUPowered, ZDNet

Press Coverage

The event was covered widely by the press. The following are some of the stories filed so far:

Wire services - attending event

AP: Anick Jesdanun
(Beth Keiser, AP Photos)
Story: Web Privacy Tools Unveiled
21 June 2000 http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20000621/tc/internet_privacy_8.html
has run in multiple publications

Reuters: Jim Wolf
Story: White House Backs Web Privacy Plan http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000621/pl/tech_privacy_dc_2.html
has run in multiple publications

Singular publications - attending event

Computerwire: Jo Maitland
Subscription piece, "W3C Privacy Spec Slammed by Lobby Groups"

Internet World: James Luh, Tom Perratta articles coming

National Journal Technology Daily: Drew Clark, Louis Peck preview articles available by subscription only

National Public Radio: Larry Abramson
Story: http://search.npr.org/cf/cmn/cmnps05fm.cfm?SegID=75730
Links to Real Audio file

Network World/NW Fusion: Carolyn Marsan
Companies to demo products based on emerging privacy standard
19 June 2000
Privacy spec gains momentum, sparks criticism
21 June 2000

New York Times: Jeri Clausing, Lisa Guernsey
Story: New Technology Is Aimed at Increasing Web Privacy
by Jeri Clausing
22 June 2000 http://www10.nytimes.com/library/tech/00/06/cyber/articles/22privacy.html

Newark Star Ledger, Kevin Coughlin
Story: Internet's privacy puzzle still unsolved
June 22, 2000 http://www.njo.com/business/ledger/index.ssf?/business/ledger/fe4c17.htm

Those not attending

Microsoft, others unveil tools to protect online privacy
by Linda Rosencrance
21 June 2000 http://www.computerworld.com/cwi/story/0,1199,NAV47_STO46118,00.html
* also ran as Internet privacy eyed - InfoWorld

Microsoft embraces tool to boost Web privacy
by Mike Ricciuti
21 June 2000 http://news.cnet.com/news//0-1005-200-2120950.html?tag=st.cn.sr.ne.2

Dow Jones Newswires
White House Supports P3P Internet Privacy Standard
by Campion Walsh
(subscribers only)

Vendors huddle over privacy
by Jennifer Jones
21 June 2000
* also ran as Vendors Huddle over privacy - CNN Technology

Putting Privacy Protection to the Test
by Jennifer Jones
21 June 2000 http://www.pcworld.com/pcwtoday/article/0,1510,17327,00.html

The news behind the Net- A new tool to 'decode' privacy policies
by Leslie Miller
21 June 2000

The news behind the Net - White House backs Web privacy initiative
by Leslie Miller
22 June 2000

Wall Street Journal
(subscription only)
Clinton Supports Move to Protect Consumer Privacy on the Internet
by Glenn Simpson
22 June 2000

Privacy Protocol Lauded, Sort Of
by Chris Oakes
22 June 2000

ZDNet News
MS adds privacy standard to Windows, IE
by Margaret Kane
21 June 2000

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last revised $Date: 2000/07/19 17:05:14 $ by $Author: djweitzner $