Effort to Develop XML Standard Falters

Fearing a new standard to let technology companies exchange data with other businesses across the Internet might exclude European companies, an industry group rejected the proposal over concerns that it favored U.S. companies.

The Computing Technology Industry Association feels the practice could
prevent European companies from participating because they might violate
European government privacy rules.

This imbalance created the snag in the decision-making process for the
group. One of its worries is that the proposal would let businesses
exchange personal data about their clients, including buying habits.

The release had been slated for February.

The rejection is expected to delay the release of the standards to computer and software makers and distributors.

The standards-setting group, called RosettaNet, was launched in June to
harness the XML software language in order to facilitate the transmission of data across electronic networks linking computer and
software makers, parts suppliers and distributors.

XML, or extensible markup language, is a way to tag electronic
information with identifying codes so that businesses can exchange
information without worrying about the need to reformat data so that it can be retrieved and viewed by others.

Nicole Shelley, senior director of electronic-commerce standards for the CTIA,
said companies in Europe wouldn’t use the standard because they don’t have
identifying codes issued by the Dun & Bradstreet financial information firm.

Most U.S. companies have access to such codes.

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