Netscape Communications Corp, Verisign Inc, Firefly Network Inc and more than 60 other vendors are collaborating on a scheme to boost security on the web, in what looks like a bid to increase consumer confidence in personal privacy over the internet. The firms have submitted a proposal to the World Wide Web Consortium, called the Open Profiling Standard (OPS). It’s said to give users control over the personal profiles they’ve submitted to web sites, and to enable them to find out what information each site holds about them. Under the proposal, users will also be able to choose whether they want that information encrypted or not. Among the big players supporting the move are Hewlett-Packard Co, Digital Equipment Corp, IBM Corp, Oracle Corp and Sun Microsystems Inc, while content creators such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Knight-Ridder New Media are also in on the act. The World Wide Web Consortium, of course, is not a standards body, so it would only be able to make recommendations that its members and others might take notice of. And it’s hard to see how the many thousands of web pages currently out there collecting user information could be tied into the new effort.