What is P3P Policy and How Does it Work?

15.06.2020 Read
What is P3P Policy and How Does it Work?

Simply put, P3P helps websites to inform their visitors regarding their privacy practices in a standard format. In this article, we will explain what P3P policy includes and how it is useful for your organization.

As of today, we all use the internet technologies on a daily basis. We read news, view pictures, acquire information, connect with our loved ones, conduct our business processes, do shopping and much more on the internet. For all these purposes, we visit websites.

Each and every time we visit a website, we leave a fingerprint behind. In other words, we leave information about us every time we visit a website. In order to protect our identity and various other sensitive information, websites must comply with many standards. Moreover, they must inform us, the visitors, about their privacy practices: What do they do to ensure our safety and privacy? How do they do it?

This is where P3P becomes relevant: With the P3P, websites can inform their visitors about their privacy practices in a standard format. If you’d like to learn more about the P3P, keep reading!

What is P3P?

P3P, also known as the Platform for Privacy Preferences Project, is an obsolete protocol. It aims to help websites express their intended use of information in a standard format.

Let us elaborate on that. Every time we visit a website, it collects data about us, the web browser user. From where we view that web site, which browser we use, which pages we view, how long we view those pages, our IP address and such. In other words, websites gather a significant amount of information about us. In order to protect us, there are various rules, laws and state mandated compliances regarding the collection and use of sensitive information. That is why, websites have to inform their visitors about the collection and use of such information. With the help of P3P, websites stances on sensitive information is declared to the visitor in a standard format. This way, the visitor doesn’t have to manage and/or change their privacy settings every time they visit a website.

In accordance with their purpose and intended use, websites may have different policies regarding the collection and use of sensitive information (what information they collect, how they collect it and such). If we didn’t have P3P, we would need to confirm our privacy settings each time we visit a site that has a different policy than the previous one.

How does P3P work?

The way P3P works is very straightforward: Our web browsers have the feature to enable P3P preferences. Once we download and install a web browser, we set our P3P preferences. So that whenever we try to load a website, our browser’s P3P agency checks its privacy policy automatically. If the site complies with our privacy preferences, it is loaded automatically. If the site fails to comply with our preferences, on the other hand, we are prompted. This way, we are informed how this website violates our privacy preferences and we can choose if we still would like to load this website.

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