w3.org and p3p standard privacy policies

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p3p Standard Privacy policies created by W3.org and implemented by Internet Explorer

Summarized overview

In this article you will find information about:

  • how IE accepts / rejects cookies of sites you visit
  • p3p Standard Privacy Policies

p3p is: Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (p3p)

In some instances cookies will not be accepted unless a p3p technical document is provided. The document explains what the cookie is meant to do. Based on security protocols;

  1. the intention of the cookie and
  2. user privacy setting,

Based on these security protocols cookies are accepted or rejected.

Typical policy evaluation: Internet Explorer will evaluate the privacy policies that accompany a cookie, and determine whether the cookie will be accepted.

On every person’s computer, the privacy level, which the user sets, is used to determine how Internet Explorer will assess the cookie & its acceptability.

Other important variables that Internet Explorer looks at are whether the cookie is a persistent cookie or a session cookie, and whether it is a first party or third party cookie.

How it works / how you can confirm

If a site contains a “compact privacy policy” you will not see the small eye that appears in the status bar of Internet Explorer.

If you see a small eye in Internet Explorer at the bottom of your screen in the status bar, the doc privacy policy for the cookies in question can be accessed / downloaded by double-clicking on the eye.  If you double-click the eye, you will see the p3p, or technical privacy policy.

So, you can only take a look when the cookie is blocked, and generally this happens only when you set your Internet Explorer Privacy Settings to High or Very High.

Note: this whole process is highly technical, and there are numerous lengthy publications on this subject.

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