TAG nominee statement

I have been nominated to stand in the 2020 election to the W3C TAG. If you're a W3C AC representative, you can vote here. Please consider ranking me favourably!

I grew up alongside the Web, and have never known the world without it. Early tinkering with HTML and CSS shaped the course of my life and became a formative part of how I interacted with the world. It is deeply important to me to see the Web move forward as a positive force, and to push back against the surveillance, manipulation, and abuse that are routine across many parts of the Web today.

I hold a PhD in Informatics from the University of Edinburgh, with a visiting year at MIT. My thesis builds on my personal experiences with online communities; I researched self-expression on the Web and how interconnected social and technical systems support or impede online interactions. At the same time, I helped shape the future of the social Web through co-editing and implementing several specifications of the W3C Social Web Working Group. I also spent a year and a half as the Working Group's Team Contact, which familiarised me with W3C processes and politics.

I spent the years since developing software to support openness and transparency for public good. I have worked with investigative journalists and open data activists, facilitating the efforts of civil society groups, governments, and the private sector internationally. I continue this work as a Director of Open Data Services Co-operative, building and maintaining tools that use the Web to promote civic use of data and fight corruption worldwide. I also work with Digital Bazaar on Web standards related to decentralisation, with the goal of enabling a foundational layer of technologies to support individual agency on the Web.

These experiences at the intersection of civic work and cutting edge standards development give me a unique perspective to bring to the TAG. There is no need for trade-offs between participation and privacy, or between community and autonomy, when building empowering Web technologies. My strengths lie in listening to input from a range of perspectives, discerning the common grounds on which to move forwards, and turning consensus into concrete specification text.

The TAG has a great record over recent years of promoting security, privacy, and accessibility as core parts of Web architecture. These are a foundation upon which to build a better Web, but we need to do more. What good is an accessible Web if it is used to spread misinformation and hate speech? Our efforts around privacy are eroded if our digital legacies can disappear overnight because it's not profitable to keep them around. What of the algorithmic discrimination that can have disastrous effects on individuals and communities?

The TAG is positioned to have a broad oversight of W3C standards: how the products of different Working Groups fit together in the wider context of society, international cultural norms, and legislation. We must use this perspective to ensure W3C members empower, rather than disenfranchise, people who use the Web.

As a member of the TAG, I will push for a future for the Web where access and participation are based on meaningful consent. I want to see Web standards work which enables viable alternatives, context-sensitive experiences, and the ability to opt out without missing out.

Find me at rhiaro.co.uk.


"I started working with Amy in 2014 as a fellow participant in the Social Web Working Group. Her insight, thoughtfulness, and the quality of her work impressed me enough that I pushed for her to come to MIT as a visiting scholar and eventually to join the W3C team for a time. She is capable and tenacious when it matters, while always being a team player. Most importantly, she never forgets the human side of technical work and the vision of how the web can help the world."

— Sandro Hawke

"[...] Amy's platform shares in a growing zeitgeist (sadly, still in the wispiest of stages) of thinking and reframing from the perspective of user empowerment, privacy, safety, agency, autonomy. Amy's platform reminds me of RFC 8890: The Internet Is For End Users. That's a perspective shift we desperately need right now... for the internet and the web both. [...]" (read more)

— Chris Webber

"I got to know Amy during her PhD studies at Edinburgh, and have stayed in touch since then. She's passionate, articulate, a developer and a campaigner. The TAG is the guardian of both the technical and social universality of the Web: Amy's technical experience and professional commitment to social responsibility are a perfect fit."

— Henry Thompson, University of Edinburgh

"I have no hesitation in supporting Amy's nomination. As a current fellow WG member and former colleague when we were both on the Team together, I know she brings exceptional skill, knowledge and passion for the Web. Her interests encompass the whole of the Web, both inside and outside the browser, across both technical and social issues; in short: just the kind of person to serve on the TAG."

— Phil Archer, GS1

"Based on my experience working with Amy in the Social Web WG I believe the TAG will benefit from Amy's participation. She listens to all sides with an open mind before forming an opinion and can help drive decision making by clearly capturing and presenting the various options at hands. Amy has a strong background in Web technologies and will be a great addition to the TAG."

— Arnaud Le Hors, IBM

"Amy walks the talk of privacy. Yes, she has been a fabulous editor in my working groups. Yes, she is good at everything she says in her position statement. But on top of all that, she truly acts on her convictions, which will add an experience-based grounding to TAG privacy conversations."

— Dan Burnett, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

"I fully support Amy's nomination to the TAG. She has consistently demonstrated both strong interest and effort in using her wealth of Web-technology knowledge and experience to ensure W3C specifications meet the high bar expected of international standards. She commands her considerable skills with grace, diligence, and respect in a way that would be considered an asset to any team."

— Dave Longley, Digital Bazaar

"Amy Guy has been instrumental in driving critical work forward in the W3C working groups I have had the opportunity of working on with her. Her knowledge of the web and the ability to bring coherence to open standards work are valuable. I fully support her nomination to the TAG."

— Kaliya Young, Identity Woman, Co-Founder Internet Identity Workshop

"When I found out Amy Guy was running for the TAG, my immediate reaction was, 'The TAG would be SO lucky to have her.' Working side-by-side with her on the Decentralized Identifiers spec, I have found her knowledge, diligence, patience, perseverance, and humor to be a joy. She is also hands down the best scribe on the WG. And she cares very deeply about the future of the Web (and the planet)."

— Drummond Reed, Evernym

"Having worked with Amy in multiple community and working groups at the W3C and the likes over the past couple of years, I've come to know her as an incredibly valuable member wherever she is present. Amy consistently demonstrates passion, a great depth of knowledge and a commitment to continuing to make the web a better place. For those reasons I fully support her nomination to the TAG."

— Tobias Looker, Mattr

"I support Amy's nomination. I enjoy working with Amy, and am regularly astounded by her productivity related to W3C standards. In particular, she has an unmatched ability to cover a high volume of small changes which add up to major improvements in readability. It's rare to encounter someone with the ability to move between high level definitions and use case and low level technical details so effortlessly."

— Orie Steele, Transmute

"Amy Guy would be perfect for the TAG. She contributed extensively to several Working Groups that will be most relevant to the web and society in the coming decades. She is well respected for her technical expertise as well as her leadership abilities for solving problems and reaching consensus. She has broad knowledge and perspectives on how different web technologies fit together beyond the boundaries of any single building block."

— Markus Sabadello, Danube Tech

🏷 web standards decentralisation tag w3c

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