W3C Exhibits Technology at European Ministerial Conference

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BONN, Germany -- July 8, 1997 (Bonn) -- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) participated in an exhibition of technologies before the European Ministerial Conference on Global Information Networks. The W3C was invited to demonstrate the Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS) and the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3). Two projects which were featured in the recent European Initiative in Electronic Commerce. [COM(97)157]

PICS is an approved W3C Recommendation and was created as an alternative model to the US Communication Decency Act (recently struck down by the US Supreme Court). PICS encouraged decentralized parental empowerment when addressing children's access to potentially offensive material. Recently, a prototype from the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3) project was demonstrated before the US FTC as a way to allow users to be easily and automatically informed of a site's practices.

The Conference was hosted by the Federal Republic of Germany and organized in co-operation with the European Commission. Attendees included Ministers from European Union Member States, guest countries and global organizations such as the W3C.

The intended result of the conference is a Common Ministerial Declaration ("Bonn Declaration") that outlines principles governing the use of global information networks and stresses the need for international cooperation. The declaration is expected to focus on principles such as the free flow of information in the context of secure commerce, user empowerment and confidence in electronic commerce.

Joseph Reagle Jr., Policy Analyst at the W3C stated, "It is very exciting to see policy makers recognizing both the importance and uniqueness of the Web as a personal and commercial medium." He continued, "We look forward to continuing to work with our Members and the Commission to promote the full potential of the Web."

More information regarding W3C's activities can be found at

http://www.w3.org/