Microsoft announced yesterday that they are implementing the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) specification for personal privacy, known as "Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3). Microsoft will add this capability to several products, including Internet Explorer 4.0, Site Server, Windows NT 5.0, and several Web sites such as Expedia, MSNBC, and Sidewalk.

"We are not only implementing this standard on our Web servers and IE clients, but throughout the whole company," said Kevin Unangst, a Microsoft Internet Explorer product manager.

The P3 specification enables a Web site to tell users about its data collection practices (through Cookies or other technologies) and enables the to tell the site about their privacy preferences--all before entering the site. If the site collects more information than the user wishes to reveal, they will be notified by the browser and can choose whether to continue