Six months after its recommendation as an Net standard, a major privacy initiative enters an awkward adolescence as software heavyweights adopt it and individual Web sites ignore it.
The World Wide Web Consortium endorses P3P, which allows Internet users to choose what sort of information they will give to Web sites and whether that information can be shared.
Zero-Knowledge Systems unveils a free beta service that lets companies test whether their Web sites comply with a privacy standard known as P3P.
Net advertising company DoubleClick says it has partnered with consulting firm Privacy Council to instruct clients on privacy matters, furthering its commitment to online safeguards. The New York-based company, which has previously come under fire for its data-collection practices, is working with the Privacy Council, based in Richardson, Texas, to help ensure its customers are compliant with privacy standards set in Microsoft's recently released Internet Explorer 6.0. The browser applies the P3P (Platform for Privacy Preferences), a tool that lets Web surfers automatically screen sites according to their privacy policies. Although DoubleClick has implemented the standard for its ad-delivery system, it says many of its clients are behind on updating their Web sites for IE 6, which could cause disruption for visitors using the browser. Over the last 16 months, DoubleClick has worked to improve its privacy practices by hiring a first-ever chief privacy officer, Jules Polenetsky, and participating in industry self-regulation and awareness campaigns.
Microsoft's requirement that all Web sites using Passport subscribe to the P3P privacy standard is a short-term fix with no real benefit to consumers.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announced the first public results from its privacy project, Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P). The project produced two drafts: the Architectural Overview and the Grammatical Model. The project--which includes several high-profile companies such as Netscape, IBM, and MIT--aims to devise a way to find technological methods for guarding individuals' privacy on the Internet.