Internet Technologists Meet at MIT to Discuss Online Privacy


December 9, 2010 – Cambridge, MA, USA – A two-day Internet Architecture Board workshop focused on Internet Privacy was held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that drew international technology professionals across many technical disciplines.  Crossing organizational borders, the Privacy Workshop was jointly sponsored by the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), and Internet Society (ISOC).

The 60 invited workshop participants included representatives of enterprise, governments, civil society, academia, as well as various standards bodies responsible for Internet technologies.  They spent an intensive two days exploring the broad question “How Can Technology Help to Improve Privacy on the Internet?”

Information about who we are, what we own, what we have experienced, how we behave, where we are located, and how we can be reached are among the most personal pieces of information about us. This information is increasingly being made more easily available electronically via the Internet, often without the consent of the individual.

This workshop examined the experience and approaches taken by developers of Internet technologies, including Web technology, when designing privacy into these protocols and architectures. The participants explored conflicting goals of openness, privacy, economics, and security to identify a path forward within their representative organizations that could improve privacy.

A significant result of the workshop was the agreement to work together in a number of areas within the broader Internet technical communities such the IAB, W3C, and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). An open, comprehensive report on the workshop will be published in the coming months to provide background details underlying the discussion and results.

About the Internet Architecture Board (IAB)

The IAB is chartered both as a committee of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and as an advisory body of the Internet Society (ISOC). Its responsibilities include architectural oversight of IETF activities, Internet Standards Process oversight and appeal, and the appointment of the RFC Editor. The IAB is also responsible for the management of the IETF protocol parameter registries.

About the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. Over 400 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan,and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see

About the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)

The MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) was formed on July 1st, 2003 by the merger of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (AI Lab) and the Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS).  It is an interdepartmental laboratory that includes faculty from Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Mathematics, Brain and Cognitive Science, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Ocean Engineering, Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, the Biological Engineering Division and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. CSAIL is also the home of the World Wide Web Consortium.  With more than 90 Principal Investigators and 800 members, CSAIL is the largest laboratory on the MIT campus.

About the Internet Society (ISOC)

The Internet Society is a non-profit organization founded in 1992 to provide leadership in Internet related standards, education, and policy. With offices near Washington, D.C., and in Geneva, Switzerland, it is dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the world. More information is available at:

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