MS adds privacy standard to Windows and Explorer

Whistler will feature new privacy standard developed by the World Wide Web Consortium

Microsoft said today that the next version of its Windows operating system will incorporate technologies based on the P3P specification, a privacy standard.

The P3P standard, short for Platform for Privacy Preferences, was developed by the World Wide Web Consortium. It allows consumers to set up privacy templates regarding their personal information and automatically compares those guidelines to Web sites' practices.

Microsoft said that the P3P support will be available next year with the new version of Windows, code-named Whistler.

The software will have features such as a privacy statement generator, which helps Web site creators generate a policy in Extensible Markup Language, or XML.

P3P will also be supported in the next version of Internet Explorer, allowing users to automatically compare their privacy policies with Web sites' policies.

In addition, Microsoft will release its own P3P-compatible privacy policy in XML.

While the P3P standard is designed to help consumers navigate the privacy jungle on the Web, it has been criticised by industry watchdogs, who argue that it does not go far enough to prevent abuse.

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