The specification was created jointly by the W3C and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to provide the ability to sign documents as well as to ensure that documents are signed by the person who claims to have signed them and that documents have not been tampered with.
XML Signature also serves as the foundation for security architecture and individual specifications, according to Janet Daly, a spokesperson for the W3C.
XML Signature is one of three XML-related specifications in development at the W3C that will contribute to overall Web services security. The other two are XML Encryption and XML Key Management.
XML Encryption and XML Key Management are still in development, Daly said.