W3C Statements about TAG Nominees for 2019 Election

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This is the list of nominees for the 2019 election to the W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG). Each person has been nominated by at least one W3C Member according to the TAG election process.

The W3C Membership elects the TAG. For this election W3C will fill three seats. W3C will announce the results on 14 January 2020.

Note: The deadline for votes is 23:59 ET, 10 January 2020.

The following statements were sent about the nominees (in alphabetical order by nominee family name):

  1. Rossen Atanassov (Microsoft Corporation)
  2. David Baron (Mozilla Foundation)*
  3. Kenneth Rohde Christiansen (Intel Corporation)*
  4. Lukasz Olejnik (W3C Invited Expert)*

An asterisk (*) indicates that the nominee is a current participant. All individuals were nominated by the AC Representatives of their organizations unless otherwise indicated below.

Rossen Atanassov (Microsoft Corporation)

The Web's 30-year history is full of ever-changing technologies, user needs, and expectations. W3C's work to guide the Web toward its full interoperable potential while never compromising its core values will be ever more critical in the new decade.

As the Web platform evolves, it is critical that it continues to serve an increasingly diverse user base and enable new web capabilities. It's equally vital to offer guarantees of privacy, interoperability, and accessibility. I'm running for the TAG because I'm confident that my own experience and expertise in solving complex problems and creating robust solutions will be a valuable addition.

My journey with the Web at Microsoft began with improving the support of East Asian fonts and vertical-layout capabilities in IE8. This work realized a dream I had while growing up in Bulgaria and being frustrated with the limited options for displaying text written in the Cyrillic alphabet. Since then, I have been a long-time participant and co-chair in the CSS Working Group where I have helped drive many changes:

In that time, I'm proud to have led a project within Microsoft to re-write the Edge accessibility stack. We are now using that experience to improve the accessibility features of Blink and Chromium as well.

Further, I served six years on the Windows API review board, which performs a similar role as the TAG does at the W3C. During this time I have led initiatives that transitioned several projects and activities to Open Source. I believe this experience helped strengthen my skills in prescribing improvements in API design to create more extensible, privacy-conscious, and future-proof solutions. I hope to leverage these skills if elected to the TAG.

Finally, preserving users' privacy has never been more challenging as personal data gets exploited through mismanagement or deliberate abuse. We cannot accept this as the price of participation on the Web. We must do better, and the TAG can lead by defining architectural principles that put users in control of their private information.

I believe I have the vision, skills, and determination to help the TAG meet today's challenges. If elected I am eager to work hard and help with:

David Baron (Mozilla Foundation)*

I am a Distinguished Engineer at Mozilla, where I have worked since it became an independent company in 2003. I have been involved in the CSS community and the development of the Gecko layout engine (used in Firefox) since 1998. I have been Mozilla's representative to the W3C Advisory Committee and to the W3C's CSS Working Group since 2004, and a member of the TAG since a special election in May 2015, and a member of the WHATWG Steering Group since it was created in December 2017.

In my role at Mozilla, I implemented major CSS features such as media queries, CSS transitions and animations, and the CSS calc() function, designed and implemented the reftest regression test format for layout tests and mitigations for privacy attacks (history sniffing) involving CSS :visited styles, and have been involved in the development of many aspects of Gecko from design and implementation of architectural changes to security bug fixing. While I have spent less time recently writing code, I continue to provide advice to other engineers at Mozilla about feature design, prioritization, and standards participation.

As a participant at the W3C, I edited the CSS Color Module, CSS Conditional Rules, CSS Transitions, CSS Animations, and the CSS Overflow Module, and I have been deeply involved in much other work in the CSS working group, and involved in the work of other groups as well.

I hope to see the TAG continue to move the Web in a direction that makes it better for both its end users and for developers. This can involve encouraging groups to make appropriate tradeoffs between low level features and places where the browser or other user agent needs to mediate on behalf of the user. Lower level features allow developers to build new technology more quickly, and at the same time give us a better way to manage the increasing complexity of Web technology. But sometimes other approaches are needed so that we can keep the Web's technology deserving of the trust of users, so that users can stay secure and in control even when using Web sites that they don't fully trust. This means we must balance the power of new APIs with the ability of the browser and the user to intervene and meaningfully modify the behavior for a better experience.

I'd also like the TAG to continue to help advise and mentor contributors to standards, and help to grow the set of people who can effectively contribute to standards. This involves both being receptive to questions brought to the TAG, helping to generalize and document the advice that we give so that it is accessible to and useful to others, and encouraging those who develop standards to do so in a way that allows the work to be continued by others in the future (such as by documenting rationales behind decisions). In this role, the TAG should balance the interests of end users (such as privacy and security), the interests of web developers (such as keeping the Web platform consistent with itself), and the interests of implementers and specification authors (such as allowing innovation from a broad group of contributors), and interests of multiple parties (such as getting the benefits of new features, and getting those benefits sooner).

I also believe that, as the W3C's process continues to change, the TAG should be open to taking on additional roles in the W3C process in places where it is valuable to have a representative technical body involved.

Kenneth Rohde Christiansen (Intel Corporation)*

Intel Corporation is pleased to nominate Kenneth Rohde Christiansen for a second term on the Technical Architecture Group (TAG).

As an architect on the Web Platform Engineering team at Intel, he has been a key contributor to Intel’s web involvement as one of the most active non-browser vendor contributors in the W3C and the Chromium open-source project.

Kenneth’s previous work experiences at Nokia and now Intel, have given him the opportunity to work on innovative new mobile concepts and applications, and explore how they interact with new and exciting hardware. In addition, Kenneth’s passion about empowering and promoting collaboration in the global web developer community brings him into frequent interactions and collaboration with the web developer community. As a Google Developer Expert and Microsoft MVP, he is a well-known presenter at events and meetups.

His deep knowledge of hardware and software stacks; combined with his experience with the developer environment enables Kenneth to bring a balanced and holistic perspective to TAG. His contribution on TAG will ensure that the W3C and the web continue to evolve and flourish as a development platform for the future.

During his first term on TAG, Kenneth used his expertise and experience to help extend the web with more capabilities. His deep knowledge on Progressive Web Apps and Project Fugu allowed him to help the TAG review contributions and to align them with the broader web platform and W3C standards. In addition, Kenneth also improved collaboration with members of TC39, resulting in the TC39 has been sending some of their newer JavaScript features for TAG review. He wrote a guideline for creating web components.

Intel is proud to nominate our esteemed colleague, Kenneth Rohde Christensen to the W3C and the web community to continue serving on the TAG. We hope that his talents and passion will be utilized for the benefit of the web ecosystem. Thank you for your consideration.

Lukasz Olejnik (W3C Invited Expert)*

TetraLogical is pleased to nominate Lukasz Olejnik for election to the TAG. In his own words:

I have been actively involved in security and privacy of the web for over 10 years. My experience includes work as an independent consultant, academic, researcher, advisor as well as work with industry firms and policy bodies and international organisations. I hold a PhD in computer science (Privacy) from INRIA. As a privacy engineer, and researcher, I helped in work on the European ePrivacy Regulation and track its developments, as it will be closely related to the web and web browsers. I understand the complex implications of technology, including regulations and policy [1]. Furthermore, I have a good understanding of the impact new technology may bring people, society, ethics and human rights, including in the long-term. I understand it both by heart and trough experience, also due to my work of advising at the International Committee of the Red Cross, where I learned first-hand on the highest level what impacts technology may have, both positive and negative.

Accordingly, I also have extensive and broad experience from industry, academia, and technology policy. My research includes areas such as techniques and consequences of data leakage (e.g. browsing history); web tracking, profiling, fingerprinting, privacy engineering and privacy by design. Currently, I act as an independent security and privacy researcher, a research associate with Oxford’s Center for Technology and Global Affairs, and expert at the European Data Protection Supervisor.

I have worked on the impact of security and privacy of web APIs, an area that is important to web browsers and the W3C. Among the few notable examples include my involvement in work on the Battery Status, Ambient Light Sensors, and other APIs. Prior joining the TAG, I contributed to their analysis, privacy risk assessment, and then demonstrating how they could be misused as well as helping to improve these standards to avoid such misuse. As part of my research, I identified actionable recommendations on privacy-aware design of APIs. I have an understanding of W3C APIs, its designs, and the unintended aspects that may result in unexpected consequences. I am happy with the improvement of a number specifications, a task made slightly simpler at the TAG. At the TAG I also had the pleasure to learn the needs by various sides and developers, as well as researchers and users. I actively listen and take the input in consideration, always happy to engage.

Focusing part of TAG's work on architecture and strategy, responding to current developments, helping and providing guidance is beneficial and will remain a challenge. As such, my focus in TAG would be especially on the horizontal topics like security, privacy, from a number of angles - maintaining the understanding for the need of accessible design. I believe the TAG's role is and will continue to be instrumental. There are important security, privacy and digital ethics challenges ahead. Among the aims of W3C Process 2020 is to simplify fast incremental changes, that may still potentially challenge horizontal issues like security or privacy. Adapting to this approach will take some time. In 2019 it is also clear that browser vendors have some competing views of the future vision of the web platform [2], including changes potentially profoundly touching horizontal issues like security and privacy. The TAG will need to keep its position as an independent arbiter. The TAG's role is to keep track challenges and changes, and to be vigilant where needed. I bring experience from multiple domains, including technology regulations, data protection. My experience enable me to understand competing views and remain independent or neutral when crucial.

I have been a W3C Invited Expert in the Device and Sensors WG, a member of the Privacy Interest Working Group, and worked with the Web Payments Working Group.

I had the pleasure to deeply studying a number of interesting cases. Notably the Battery Status API [3], identifying a number of unintended consequences that could lead to information leaks or even user tracking. This mechanism has indeed been found used by malicious scripts [4]. Ultimately these findings may have influenced decisions by browser vendors such as Firefox and WebKit to remove the functionality [5], and convinced some vendors to introduce user interface changes. Furthermore, this example provided a useful case study that hopefully may help improve privacy engineering of web standards and browsers in the long term [6]. I developed a unique approach to analysing web standardization. One of its application has been the analysis of Ambient Light Sensors [7], and I use it in my TAG activity. I’m sometimes picky when it comes to clarity of specifications, and favor documenting corner cases [8].

Among other work at the TAG I co-authored the updated and enhanced edition of “Self-Review Questionnaire: Security and Privacy” [9,10].

For more about my work you can visit this site https://lukaszolejnik.com or blog https://blog.lukaszolejnik.com.

[1] L. Olejnik, “A Second Life for the 'Do Not Track' Setting—With Teeth”, Wired, 2019;
[2] “On proposals affecting the privacy of web architecture”, 2019;
[3] L. Olejnik, G. Acar, C. Castelluccia, C. Diaz, “The leaking battery: A privacy analysis of the HTML5 Battery Status API”, Data Privacy Management, 2015;
[4] S. Englehardt, A. Narayanan, “Online Tracking: A 1-million-site Measurement and Analysis”, The ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) 2016;
[5] Bug 1313580 - Remove web content access to Battery API;
[6] L. Olejnik, S. Englehardt, A. Narayanan, “Battery Status Not Included: Assessing Privacy in Web Standards”, International Workshop on Privacy Engineering 2017;
[7] “Stealing sensitive browser data with the W3C Ambient Light Sensor API”, 2017;
[8] https://github.com/w3ctag/design-reviews/issues/436#issuecomment-550350296
[9] https://www.w3.org/blog/TAG/2019/09/11/security-and-privacy-for-our-times/
[10] https://w3ctag.github.io/security-questionnaire/

Coralie Mercier, Head of W3C Marketing & Communications