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THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release June 21, 2000
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
Rapid changes in technology, and the vast increases in access to
information that they make possible, are enormously important to our future
prosperity. To ensure that such growth is achieved while protecting
privacy, the Administration has called for private sector leadership,
legislation when necessary, responsible government handling of personal
information, and for an informed public.
Today, the White House is pleased to advance these goals by supporting
an initiative that harnesses technology to protect privacy on the Internet.
The World Wide Web Consortium, an international organization made up of
over 420 members from industry, academia, privacy groups, and public policy
experts, is now publicly releasing its P3P standard. The home page of the
White House web site will be one of the initial locations for demonstrating
the new P3P standard, along with the Department of Commerce and over 35
other public and private sector locations.
P3P uses software to give consumers control over the use of their
personal information. P3P allows consumers through their browser to
express their privacy preferences. Users' browsers then communicate those
preferences to web sites in a machine readable format. P3P offers a
each web site. A user's browser would automatically "read" the web site's
whether personal data can be shared with other sites. If a site shares
data in ways that go beyond the user's preferences, then the user gets to
decide whether to proceed with browsing at that site. In addition, P3P
will place privacy policies where users can easily find them.
The P3P initiative is another example of the President's and Vice
President's support for private sector leadership in electronic commerce.
The initiative is an example of how technology that empowers consumers is,
in the words of the Vice President, "an important step towards giving
consumers greater control over their personal information." By building
P3P into the home page of the White House, the Administration shows its
commitment to continue exploring technological tools that help protect
Americans' privacy online. Last year, the Administration lived up to its
promise to post clear privacy policies on the web sites of all federal
agencies. This year, the Administration continues to take positive steps
to make the government a model of good information practices.
Users with a P3P-enabled web browser can access our P3P-based privacy
policy for the White House home page at www.whitehouse.gov/index.html.
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