Two of the items under the 'proposed technical work' section of the workshop report suggest concrete steps to be taken within a W3C Incubator Group:
A strength of the architecture of the web is the central role played by the relationship between names and resources. We propose to leverage that W3C strength, in the public interest. The W3C would create specifications by which information collectors could publish up-to-date lists of the public domain unique identifiers that they bind to entities on which they collect information. The information would include all of the public information that would help users and applications to infer, construct or publish their own relationships among identifiers (experience shows that geographic and postal address information is essential to the mapping process). To take two concrete examples:
Among those 40,000 identifiers there are only about 750 public companies that are also banks or bank holding companies. Moreover, public companies as registered with the SEC generally own a bank or bank holding company as a fully owned subsidiary; using the financial data from either location requires some awareness of that relationship. But without being able to identify such name registries as such, you can't even begin.
Several analogies to existing specifications were suggested:
Focusing on this aspect of "Financial Data on the Web" lends itself to a bottom-up approach, with each additional government agency or public interest group publishing identifiers adding value and momentum.
Another strengh of the W3C to leverage is that it is well position to develop internationally acceptable specifications, allowing for the first time financial entities registered in different companies to be identified on a common, non-proprietary basis.
Incorrect name bindings arising from error or manipulation could undermine or completely defeat the reliability and usability of name registries. Specifications to ensure that any such name registry is required to record sufficient information that applications could discover the origin of the information may be essential.