posted Apr 11, 2001

Microsoft Pushing P3P
Privacy from Companies
4/11/2001; 11:31:07 PM

'Now Microsoft Corp. says it has a high-tech solution to the problem -- no Draconian action needed. The software giant's answer: a system, based on industry standards, that lets consumers choose how much protection they want. The approach will effectively let PC users adjust the dial on a kind of privacy thermostat built into their Web browsers.

'Known as the Platform for Privacy Preferences, or P3P, the technology promises to reshape the debate about Web privacy. For the Internet industry, P3P represents the biggest weapon yet in the fight against new regulations. And for consumers, it could provide much better control over personal information.

'But only if P3P works. Consumers, already frustrated with complicated software, may balk at a raft of new settings to tinker with. Worse, the technology only functions if Web sites cooperate by making their privacy policies "talk" in P3P's special language. And some critics charge that the system gives Microsoft too much sway over Web privacy. Microsoft is building the technology into Version 6 of its Internet Explorer browser, due by year end.'

I've discussed the ill-concieved P3P standard in the past. Guess we're actually going to get it.


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