If your interests stray anywhere near online personalization or privacy, sooner or later the acronym P3P will appear. The Platform for Privacy Preferences Project is an attempt by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards group to bridge the gap between corporate data collection and personalization efforts and consumer indecision or hesitancy about patronizing a site.
Although P3P is currently supported in new versions of the popular Microsoft Internet Explorer Web browser, its widespread adoption and success are by no means assured. A number of Internet analysts and research firms have noted over the past few years the dramatic number of Web users who cannot or do not bother to adjust their home page and cookie settings, a simpler task than evaluating and answering a set of privacy criteria.
There is also no assurance that the privacy policies and procedures currently tagged for disclosure in the P3P specification will meet the requirements of emerging online privacy legislation, although it is a safe bet that the W3C will push to shape the debate around the automated exchange P3P already enables. The P3P specification itself is also still considered a work in progress and subject to change as industry and regulatory concerns develop.