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PrivaSeek Aims to Establish Java Privacy Standards.

PrivaSeek Inc, the first company to launch itself as a privacy infomediary, has formed an ad-hoc grouping of Java developers to attempt to drive the development of APIs and specifications for privacy applications. Infomediaries are firms that sit between web sites and users and control the flow of data back and forth. It is looking define standards for all "privacy-aware" applications and interfaces to services providers to enable companies like PrivaSeek to offer users a standard way of controlling what data gets supplied to web site owners.

Steve Lucas, PrivaSeek's CIO and government relations senior VP, says the company has already "had a significant amount of people sign up" at the firm's web site. He emphasizes that this is not a PrivaSeek-centric effort and the company will accept whatever standards the group settles on. He says an open source development model will be employed and PrivaSeek will offer parts of the source code of its client software to aid the effort. PrivaSeek says it will support all the existing privacy standards, including P3P and OPS and its work is said to have the support of the W3C, which is embroiled in a struggle to disprove a patent claim by Intermind Corp on a crucial part of P3P (05/04/99).

Lucas says he's spoken to Danny Weitzner, technology and security domain leader of the W3C and the two have agreed that this effort is complementary to P3P, not competitive. And anyway, says Lucas, PrivaSeek's software is based on OPS and vCard, so P3P compatibility is very straightforward. A major target for this work would be Novell Inc's Digitalme infomediary-enabling tool, which is written in Java. Lucas says he plans to meet with Novell officials later this month. There is a meeting of the privacy advisory committee of the W3C on Monday before the start of the 8th International WWW conference in Toronto.
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Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 7, 1999
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