Internet Privacy

(New York-AP) -- Some of the biggest names in Cyberspace say they're getting serious about online privacy. Microsoft, IBM, America Online, and other companies, have unveiled new tools they say will give Internet users better privacy controls. The standards,known as

, come amid growing concern about Web sites that secretly track people's online habits and then supply the information to marketers. The products, some of which are already available, include warnings for computer users if they encounter sites without privacy statements, and tools to squash ``Web bugs'' often used for surreptitious tracking of users' habits. Microsoft expects to include P3P into its software released after this year. Some privacy advocates are skeptical. One says Web sites could trick users into giving up sensitive information by pretending to have strong protections.