As previously mentioned, the United States tends to have less stringent laws regarding polices than the EU, but generally companies and organizations, especially those with substantial sites, carry privacy notices anyway. One of the most important guidelines to emerge in recent years that can help organizations develop a policy “template” is the Platform for Privacy Preferences Project from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which incorporates many of the procedures developed for the EU’s Directive on the Protection of Personal Data.
Platform for Privacy Preferences project
The Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) is a specification developed by the W3C that helps a Web site develop and implement privacy policies in a standardized way and provide these policies in a machine readable format. Not surprisingly, the specification relies on XML, which is very handy because it means your policy development can be both simple and easy to transmit
P3P general syntax
Like any XML, the case of the elements is important, so it’s not policy or Policy, it’s POLICY. If you look at Listing , you can see that the XML vocabulary used for P3P is very intuitive.
An Example of a P3P Policy Generated in XML
Listing shows a limited number of STATEMENT elements, but you can use one for every instance of data collection that exists on your Web site. Each instance is described by a STATEMENT element and abstracted using a CONSEQUENCE element.
P3P is currently in Working Draft, which means you can expect changes in its syntax. However, it is still a useful guide in developing privacy policies. For example, just perusing the specification’s table of contents reveals an outline that reflects much of what you’ve learned in this chapter about both the European approach to privacy and the American approach to privacy regarding information gathering on children (the two of which are quite similar). The core steps in implementing P3P will by now look familiar:
Because P3P is based on XML, a P3P policy can be embedded in a Web Services Description Language (WSDL) document.
Incorporating a Generic P3P Attribute in a WSDL File
Listing uses a “generic” attribute that can be embedded into other XML vocabularies. You can then develop an XSLT style sheet to transform the file into HTML.
Generating P3P files the easy way
Nobody would be too surprised to find out that you don’t want to learn a new vocabulary just to generate some private policies. Luckily, several P3P editors are available that will generate the files for you:
These save you the trouble of learning the new syntax, however, it does help to have a general understanding of how the syntax works, because you may find yourself editing small portions of a completed file in a text editor after the file has been completed and uploaded to your server.
Certification and seal programs
A number of privacy and certification sites will guarantee the authenticity of software downloads coming from your site and provide assurances to users of your site that your Web site adheres to the highest privacy and trust standards. These include the following:
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Introducing The Web And Html
What Goes Into A Web Page?
Starting Your Web Page
Lines, Line Breaks, And Paragraphs
Page Layout With Tables
Introducing Cascading Style Sheets
Creating Style Rules
Padding, Margins, And Borders
Colors And Backgrounds
Tables Table Styles
Defining Pages For Printing
Dynamic Html With Css
Introduction To Server-side Scripting
Introduction To Database-driven Web Publishing
Creating A Weblog
Introduction To Xml
Xml Processing And Implementations
Testing And Validating Your Documents
Choosing A Service Provider
Uploading Your Site With Ftp
Publicizing Your Site And Building Your Audience
Maintaining Your Site
The Web Development Process
Developing And Structuring Content
Designing For Usability And Accessibility
Designing For An International Audience
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