October 23, 2002

Lorrie Cranor

AT&T Labs

180 Park Ave., Room A205

Florham Park, NJ 07932


Ernst & Young's Accounting of P3P

Dear Ms. Cranor:

Thank you for inviting us to present our viewpoints regarding the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P).

Web site privacy has long been measured according to the contents of posted privacy statements. Standards for those statements have been codified by both industry groups and by privacy programs. It is now common practice for commercial web sites to have posted privacy statements that discuss the information collection, use, and disclosure practices of the web site operators.

Recently, the approval of the P3P specification as a formal recommendation by the W3C, and the growing availability of P3P-enabled browsers, has led to the emergence of P3P-enabled web sites.

Ernst & Young developed a project to chart the adoption of P3P by the most trafficked web site domains. Our first report was issued for August 2002, was followed up in September, and by the time that the Future of P3P workshop takes place, we will present the results for October.

Using information provided by comScore Media Metrix, Ernst & Young's professional staff for Privacy Assurance and Advisory Services has created a dashboard report of P3P adoption. The P3P Dashboard illustrates the current adoption rates of the top 100 and top 500 domains visited by U.S. Internet users. In addition, the P3P Dashboard uses comScore's domain segmentation to report on adoption rates by the major categories of web sites represented. The dashboard indicates the level of adoption by domain category, and whether there was an increase in that category in the latest month.

We have noted very modest adoption of P3P in these domains, and the rate of change is also small. (Please see the current P3P Dashboard at www.ey.com/privacyfor the current statistics. We will bring the latest version to the workshop.)

If you would like additional information, or have questions, please feel free to contact Brian Tretick at (703) 747-0901 or at brian.tretick@ey.com.


Ernst & Young LLP