The W3C Policy Languages Interest Group - PLING - is an open forum to discuss use cases, languages, and frameworks around information governance policies. PLING also serves as a global platform to enable different initiatives to share and exchange ideas about policy interoperability.
There are many different languages to express preferences, obligations, and constraints for privacy, access control, identity management, and intellectual property rights. All these languages are islands in the sun and they serve the specific purpose they were created for.
However, in today's networked society people want to "mash up" and combine different content with different policies and share the outcomes with everyone. These challenges require the combination of existing ways to manage the flow of information with new techniques to manage policy interactions. Social Networking is only one example driving these new challenges. The current big efforts around Identity Management can also be explained as being the focal point of policy integration across disparate systems.
Users want to have a seamless experience, developers want ease of implementation and community groups want respect for user rights. The current "islands" can't satisfy that concert of requirements. Integration is clearly needed and starts when all the stakeholders begin talking to each other. The PLING objective is to facilitate this and offer an international platform for policy language discussions.