Web Privacy
with P3P

"[Cranor's] clear and lively presentation has something for everyone who has any interest in this question of privacy on the Internet."

-- Lawrence Lessig, Stanford Law School

"If you have any interest at all in P3P as a policy development or are considering whether to add P3P functionality to your website, you should read this book. If you have already made the decision to proceed with P3P, you will definitely need it. Web Privacy with P3P is destined to be the P3P bible."

-- Robert Gellman, Privacy and Information Policy Consultant

book cover

Web Privacy with P3P
by Lorrie Faith Cranor
with Foreword by Lawrence Lessig
September 2002
O'Reilly & Associates
ISBN 0-59600-371-4
344 pages, $39.95

About the Book

The W3C's Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) provides a standard way for web sites to communicate about their privacy practices. Many of the most popular web sites use P3P, and software to view P3P policies is built into popular web browsers. Web Privacy with P3P delivers practical advice and insider tips on configuring sites for P3P compliance. The book explains the inner workings of the P3P protocol while maintaining a hands-on implementation approach. Software developers, privacy consultants, corporate decision-makers, lawyers, public policy-makers, and any individual interested in online privacy issues will find this book indispensable.

About the Author

Lorrie Faith Cranor is is an Associate Research Professor in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. She is director of the CMU Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory (CUPS). She came to CMU in December 2003 after seven years at AT&T Labs-Research. She is chair of the Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P) Specification Working Group at the World Wide Web Consortium and co-author of the P3P1.0 and APPEL specifications. Her research has focused on a variety of areas where technology and policy issues interact, including online privacy, electronic voting, and spam. She holds a doctorate degree in Engineering and Policy from Washington University in St. Louis.

Examples and Links

Web Privacy with P3P includes many examples of P3P policies and policy reference files. The longer examples can be downloaded from this web site. The book also includes references to a variety of online resources. The URLs for these resources are also available here.

Presentations and Papers

Lorrie Faith Cranor has written many articles and papers about P3P and is frequently invited to give presentations on P3P. She has developed an extensive collection of PowerPoint slides that she uses in her presentations. Several slide sets are available for download from this web site. They may be used as is or incorporated into other presentations as long as their source is properly acknowledged.


Many people come to this site because they have questions about P3P or how to P3P-enable their web sites. Hopefully you will find answers to most of your questions on this web site or in the book. Lorrie maintains an FAQ that answers some of the most frequent questions. If you can't find the answers to your questions here, please visit the W3C's P3P pages or P3PToolBox.org.

Help! IE6 is blocking my
cookies"Help IE6 is blocking my cookies!" To find out why, read Lorrie's article on O'Reilly Network.

Troubleshooting P3P 'Having trouble P3P-enabling your web site? Check out A Webmaster's Guide to Troubleshooting P3P

You can also join the www-p3p-policy@w3.org mailing list and ask your questions there. To subscribe, email www-p3p-policy-request@w3.org with "subscribe" in the Subject. This mailing list is publicly archived at http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-p3p-policy/. Lorrie subscribes to this mailing list and often answers questions posted there. She prefers to answer P3P questions on the mailing list than via direct email, as answering questions on the mailing list allows many people to benefit from the answer (and reduces the number of times she has to answer the same questions).

Buy the Book

You can order this book from the publisher, or from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Powells.

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