The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the global organisation founded and run by inventor of the web Tim Berners-Lee. It aims to ensure that the web is available and accessible to everyone, regardless of their hardware, software, network infrastructure, language, culture, location, or physical or mental ability.
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Members of the W3C include most major IT suppliers and many large corporate user organisations, whose technical experts work together to decide the future direction of the web.
"Our members work together to design and standardise web technologies that build on its universality, giving the power to communicate, exchange information and write effective, dynamic applications for anyone, anywhere, anytime, using any device," said Berners-Lee.
Key areas of work include web accessibility, internationalisation and device independence.
The W3C aims to make the web as simple and convenient to use on a range of mobile devices as it is from a desktop PC. It is working to ensure that all types of mobile phones, personal digital assistants, interactive television systems, voice response systems, internet kiosks and even domestic appliances can access the web.
Another area the W3C is working is on developing the web's vast database potential to help solve complex problems.
Among the long-term goals of the W3C is to promote technologies that enable a more collaborative environment, a web where accountability, security, confidence, and confidentiality are all possible, and where people participate according to their individual privacy requirements and preferences.