The World Wide Web Consortium has unveiled a selection of products which support Web privacy and its Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P).

The prototype technologies displayed are expected to reach end users in the coming year.

The W3C said: "Web users want to know how the sites they visit use their privacy information." The focus of the P3P project is to enable anyone with a Web site to translate their privacy practices into XML-based P3P statements. The statements can be retrieved automatically and interpreted by a P3P-enabled browser.

P3P services will improve user control, offering them understandable, locatable, and informed information about what privacy details Web sites take from them, and what use gets made of this information.

The full specification of the P3P standard is available from www.w3.org/TR/P3P.