Web Consortium Holds Interoperability Session

November 3, 2000

NEWS BRIEFS

San Diego, CALIF. — Over 30 leading technology and content companies, privacy advocates, and other organizations will gather on 2 November 2000 in Palo Alto, California, USA, to conduct public tests and demonstrate implementations of the Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P), the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web privacy technology. The second in an ongoing outreach series, W3C’s public “interoperability session” provides an opportunity to unveil new prototypes, to test them with other P3P services, and to educate Web content and service providers about P3P.

The event, hosted by Hewlett Packard, provides Silicon Valley companies the opportunity to meet P3P developers, see implementations, and get answers on how to make their sites P3P compliant.

“P3P is at its most effective when it is implemented by the largest possible number of sites. With its concentration of e-businesses in all imaginable sectors, Silicon Valley is a natural choice for P3P outreach efforts,” explained Daniel J. Weitzner, W3C’s Technology and Society Domain Leader. “Being at one of the world’s centers for Web software development, we also have the opportunity for dialogue on ways to use the P3P platform to help a variety of new Web services become more responsive to user privacy needs.”

Registration for the 2 November Interoperability event is open to the public. More details on this event, as well as reports on the June 23 Interoperability session are linked from the P3P homepage.

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.

P3P technology was created through a consensus process with representatives from more than a dozen W3C Member organizations, including AOL, AT&T, Akamai, CDT, Citigroup, Crystaliz, Direct Marketing Association, Electronic Network Consortium, Engage, Geotrust, Gesellschaft fur Mathematik und Datenverarbeitung (GMD), Hewlett Packard, IBM, IDcide, Internet Alliance, Jotter Technologies Inc., Microsoft, NCR, NEC, Netscape, Nokia, Phone.com, TRUSTe, YOUpowered, as well as invited privacy experts from around the world, including Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, and Marit Koehntopp, Director of Privacy Enhancing Technologies, Office of the Data-Commissioner, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.

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 460 organizations are Members of the Consortium. For more information see http://www.w3.org/

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