Vision for W3C

W3C Group Note,

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Chris Wilson (Google)
Tantek Çelik (Mozilla)


The W3C Vision articulates W3C’s mission, what W3C is, what it does and why that matters, and the values and principles by which it operates and makes decisions.

Status of this document

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. A list of current W3C publications and the latest revision of this technical report can be found in the W3C technical reports index at

This document was published by the Advisory Board as a Group Note using the Note track. Group Notes are not endorsed by W3C nor its Members.

This document is governed by the 03 November 2023 W3C Process Document.

The 15 September 2020 W3C Patent Policy does not carry any licensing requirements or commitments on this document.

This document was developed by the Advisory Board in cooperation with its Vision Task Force. It will continue to evolve, and the AB will issue updates as often as needed. The intent is for this document to eventually become a W3C Statement.

1. Purpose of this Document

This document articulates W3C’s mission, its values, its organizational principles, and our vision for W3C as an organization in the context of our vision for the Web itself. The goal of this vision is not to predict the future, but to define shared principles to guide our decisions.

The goals of this document are to:

2. Introduction

The World Wide Web was originally conceived as a tool for sharing information. It has evolved rapidly into a fundamental part of humanity, sparking major social change by providing and expanding access to knowledge, education, commerce and shopping, social experiences, civic functions, entertainment, and more.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was founded as an organization to provide a consistent architecture across the rapid pace of progress in the Web, and to build a common community to support its development.

The Web’s amazing success has also led to many unintended and undesirable consequences that harm society: openness and anonymity have given rise to scams, phishing, and fraud; the ease of gathering personal information has led to business models that mine and sell detailed user data, without people’s awareness or consent; rapid global information sharing has allowed misinformation to flourish and be exploited for political or commercial gain. This has divided societies and incited hate. We must do better. We must take steps to address these consequences in the standards we create.

Technology is not neutral; new technologies enable new actions and new possibilities, and we must take responsibility to address the actual impact of our work. W3C’s Technical Architecture Group’s work to clearly define Ethical Web Principles is a strong basis to improve the ethical integrity of the Web.

The Web has had a tremendous impact on the world, and its impact will continue to grow in the future, as it expands reach, knowledge, education, and services even more broadly. We believe the World Wide Web should be inclusive and respectful of its users: a Web that supports facts over falsehoods, people over profits, humanity over hate.

3. W3C’s Vision for the World Wide Web

4. Vision for W3C

W3C leads the community in defining a World Wide Web that puts users first, by developing technical standards and guidelines to empower an equitable, informed, and interconnected society.

The fundamental function of W3C today is to provide an open forum where diverse voices from around the world and from different organizations and industries work together to evolve the web by building consensus on voluntary global standards for Web technologies.

To build a better future, W3C must rise even further to the challenge of improving the Web’s fundamental integrity, while continuing to expand the Web’s scope and reach.

W3C will embed its core values and principles in the Web’s architecture. As the Ethical Web Principles state, “The web should empower an equitable, informed and interconnected society.”

5. Operational Principles for W3C

In order to fulfill our Vision, we will follow these operational principles:

6. Acknowledgements and supporting material


Informative References

Daniel Appelquist; Hadley Beeman; Amy Guy. Ethical Web Principles. 19 March 2024. NOTE. URL: