Theresa O’Connor

Candidate Statement for the 2020 TAG Election


I’m Tess, the Standards Lead for the WebKit team at Apple. I’ve been involved in Web standards for fifteen years, and I’ve had the distinct honor of serving on the TAG since the AC elected me in 2018.

Design reviews are one of the primary ways in which the TAG stays connected to what’s happening & connect architectural principles to actual current work. Since being elected I’ve participated in around 100 reviews. Many of the engineers who come to us with design review requests are new to standards work, and the TAG can be the first standards body they interact with. We strive to be friendly and welcoming, and we work hard to provide folks with feedback that is both timely and impactful. Our workload has been challenging over the last two years, so we’ve put significant effort into restructuring how we work to better serve the needs of those requesting design reviews. If re-elected to the TAG, I’ll continue to help improve our timeliness & relevance while reviewing future work.

Privacy is one of the areas in which the current makeup of the TAG reflects the consortium’s focus on the users of the web. It’s been a major focus of my recent work, both inside and outside of the TAG. I’m the TAG’s editor of the Security and Privacy Questionnaire, a joint deliverable of ours with PING. I’ve focused my efforts on a top-to-bottom revision of the document to improve its clarity and readability, and on improving the collaboration between TAG and PING on this and other matters. I’m also a chair of the Privacy Community Group, which I helped to launch at the beginning of this year. It’s a vibrant CG with over 275 participants from over 100 organizations. I hope to use a second term on the TAG to help spec editors and privacy advocates find privacy-preserving ways of addressing user needs while adding necessary features to the Web platform.

As I said in 2018, I believe it’s critical for the W3C and the WHATWG to work more closely together. I’m one of the chairs of the HTML Working Group, the group on the W3C side charged with ensuring the success of the Memorandum of Understanding Between W3C and WHATWG. We’ve taken DOM to REC and HTML to CR. On the TAG, we’ve completed a number of design reviews of features defined in various WHATWG specifications, and I’d like to see us do even more to grow the relationship between these two SDOs over the next two years.