Feeds

Microsoft teams with EFF to push Web privacy

Sleep easy - Redmond will look after your personal data...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

An improbable double act - Microsoft and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is to announce tools to promote and protect Web privacy later today. Typically one would expect any privacy tools Microsoft would announce to be geared towards promoting Microsoft platforms, but the support of the EFF suggests that maybe this time Redmond really is intending to put its weight behind an industry-wide effort. The intent is to accelerate the take-up of the platform for privacy preferences, P3P. This will provide a standard mechanism for Web sites to present their privacy policies, showing what information they propose to gather about visitors and what they intend to do with it. This standard format is then readily readable by users' browsers (when the technology is in the browsers, that is), so when you go to a Web site your browser will automatically check out its privacy policies, check them against the ones you've set for yourself, and report back to you accordingly. The Microsoft tools are intended to allow companies to write their privacy policies, so yes, they will be at least Microsoft-weighted if not Microsoft-specific, and other companies are going to have to deal with non-Windows Web platforms. The EFF's unusual backing of Microsoft here may have been prompted by the threat of privacy legislation. Governments everywhere are getting more and more annoyed by the software industry's apparent inability to do anything about privacy protection, or even to restrain itself (hello Microsoft) from breaching personal privacy. Getting P3P going faster may therefore seem like a smart way to head-off government intervention. But it's doubtful if adequate privacy standards can be delivered fast enough for this. P3P itself has a problem in that a Seattle company, Intermind, holds a key patent for it and wants money. And even if this is overcome, getting all of the software accepted as a worldwide standard and deployed will be a major challenge. ®

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.