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[FYI] EU: Legal framework for electronic signatures
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- Subject: [FYI] EU: Legal framework for electronic signatures
- From: "Axel H. Horns" <Horns@t-online.de>
- Date: Thu, 2 Sep 1999 20:01:57 +0100
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CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 1999.
Record Control Number: 13545
Category: Preparatory act
A common position on a proposal from the outgoing European Commission
that would establish a legal framework for electronic signatures has
been agreed by the Council of Ministers and will now pass to MEPs for
their second reading.
Recognising that electronic signatures are needed for secure
electronic communication and e-commerce, the proposal aims to
establish a clear framework which will encourage confidence and
increase investment in these new technologies. The Council envisages
that the electronic signature would have equivalent validity to the
If adopted, the proposal would create a framework for the secure
transmission of electronic commerce, stimulating investment and
encouraging growth, competitiveness and employment.
Currently no Member State has set up a legislative framework for
electronic signatures, providing an ideal opportunity to develop a
harmonious legal framework at European level.
The proposed Directive lays down minimum requirements concerning
security and liability that would ensure electronic signatures were
legally recognisable throughout the EU.
Furthermore it establishes a legally recognisable system of
electronic signatures where the origin of the data and the identity
of the sender could be determined, with the ability to verify if the
data has been altered.
A certificate identifying the signatory, which would be issued by a
service provider, would accompany data. Under the proposal minimum
liability rules would be established, in particular holding service
providers responsible for the validity of a certificate's content.
Safeguards would be put in place to ensure personal data used by
service providers is protected.
The Council stated it would support the introduction at national
level of voluntary accreditation schemes and an appropriate
monitoring system to be adopted by Member States in order to
establish public confidence.
The proposal also includes mechanisms for cooperation with third
countries on mutual certificates on the basis of bilateral and
mulitlateral agreements, thereby encouraging electronic commerce on a
Following the adoption of the proposal an electronic signature
committee will be established to clarify the requirements of the
Directive and the generally recognised standards for electronic
Data Source Provider: Official Journal of the European Communities
Document Reference: OJ No C 243 of 27.8.1999, p. 33.
Subject Index Codes: Information Processing, Information Systems