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[FYI] Towards legal recognition of electronic signatures
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- Subject: [FYI] Towards legal recognition of electronic signatures
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- Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 23:05:22 +0200
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CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 1999.
Record Control Number: 13845
The EU Directive on electronic signatures passed its second reading
in the European Parliament on 27 October subject to several minor
amendments proposed by the Legal Affairs Committee. Both the Council
and the Commission have voiced support for these amendments and it is
therefore expected that European citizens will shortly enjoy legal
recognition for electronic signatures.
As the business potential of e-commerce grows, it became increasingly
apparent that some form of procedures to improve the security
standards and the legal recognition of electronic signatures and
certification services was needed. In fact such a framework is
considered essential for consumer security and confidence.
The planned Directive, which began life as a Commission proposal in
October 1998, is technologically neutral and thus open to future
developments in authentication procedures. The essence of the
proposal is that certain electronic signatures are legally recognised
in the framework of statutory forms and the law of evidence.
The amendments adopted by the Parliament seek to clarify certain
areas. The first is intended to make clear that the Directive shall
not apply to closed systems which are based on voluntary contractual
agreements under private law between a limited number of participants
where there is no need for Community legislation.
Regarding the liability of providers of certification services, the
amendments would ensure that certificates contain all the necessary
requirements for a qualified certificate, and that it must be made
clear where the limitations and the liability of certificate
Once the Directive becomes law, electronic signatures accompanied by
a valid certificate will have equivalent validity to handwritten
signatures. This will enable secure electronic commerce within the
European Union, which it is hoped will stimulate investment
encouraging growth, employment and competitiveness.
Data Source Provider: PARLIAMENT
Document Reference: News report.
Subject Index Codes: Information Processing, Information Systems
Related News: 13545