Just a few days after the Wall Street Journal reported that Google, Facbeook, and others have been using a workaround to bypass the cookie restrictions in Apple's Safari and Mobile Safari web browsers, Microsoft now claims that Google has taken similar measures to bypass privacy settings in Internet Explorer. Microsoft says that Google is improperly representing its cookies by using a non-standard P3P cookie policy statement: it claims that "Google's P3P policy is actually a statement that it is not a P3P policy," which allows Google's cookies to pass through without being blocked.

In response to accusations over cookies in Safari, Google said that it made a mistake with how it asked Safari to handle cookies, and that its advertising cookies do not collect personal information. It also said that users of Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome were not affected — though that claim now appears suspect.

Microsoft has actively worked to stir up controversy about Google's behavior in recent weeks: it was quick to ding Google and Apple following the Safari revelation, encouraging people to download Internet Explorer and claiming that "the Tracking Protection in IE9 is recognized as some of the strongest privacy protection in the industry." But that tracking feature has to be turned on, otherwise Google can bypass cookie preferences with a simple manipulation of WC3's P3P standard (the default protection). Microsoft has asked Google to properly utilize the P3P policy standard, but in the meantime, it encourages users to start using the optional Tracking Protection feature. We've reached out to Google for official comment, so stay tuned.