W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-p3p-dev@w3.org > March 2002

IE6, p3p, frames & 3rd party cookies

From: Miles Sampson <miles.sampson@ihavemoved.com>
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 06:13:53 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <6173512FBEFAD311B6370090275A715061734E@CAIPIRINA>
To: "'www-p3p-dev@w3.org'" <www-p3p-dev@w3.org>

We're finding that our pages aren't serving on IE6 because of the way we use
cookies combined with the browser's new security features. 

We're a totally reputable site served over https and we have a p3p policy. 

The problem appears to derive from our architecture - we run a number of
distributed sites where we re-purpose our content for partners. We serve all
these pages from the same URL, but we use a cookie to determine which
distributed site the viewer should be looking at. 

Roughly what happens is this: when we repurpose content, we give our partner
a URL like https://www.domain.com/site/partnername/. When a browser hits
that page it sets a cookie that lets our servers know they should be
receiving the <partnername> version of our content. Subsequently, the URL
that the user sees resolves to https://www.domain.com/ and the server
pre-pends all the relevant paths to serve up the right stuff. 
The issue comes when our partners serve those pages in frames and our cookie
then becomes a third-party cookie (that is served from a different site than
the site serving the frameset). At that point IE at default security setting
won't serve our page before seeing the p3p statement. 

Catch 22 is that we can't serve a page until the browser's got a cookie & as
we haven't served a page the browser doesn't have our p3p statement.
Therefore IE6 blocks the page and users get caught in a loop and never see

Has anyone got experience of this issue, or got any thoughts on how to
circumvent it? Although there's quite a bit of talk around p3p and IE6 on
newsgroups, we haven't seen this issue directly referred to before. We also
can't find any official Microsoft advice. 
Finally, here comes the science bit: 
here's what we send to the server. the lines numbered 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 are info
sent back we say it's a redirect, we tell the P3P (compact) policy, we tell
the new location, set the cookie name=value but IE6 replies without the

wget --load-cookies=cookies.txt --save-cookies=cookies.txt --server-response 
=> `index.html' 
Connecting to connected. 
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 
1 HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently 
2 Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002 16:07:33 GMT 
3 Server: Apache Ben-SSL IHM 
4 Set-Cookie: sw=bd3aa6cd7cebdab57c9857f8791369c9; expires=Thursday,
13-Mar-2003 16:07:33 GMT; path=/; 
6 Location: / 
7 Connection: close 
8 Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1 
Location: / [following] 

Miles Sampson 
dd: 020 7799 8404 
m: 07971 991444 
Received on Friday, 15 March 2002 07:23:34 UTC

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