Lawmakers to approve use of digital signatures

    Clearing a major hurdle for electronic commerce, congressional negotiators have agreed to give digital signatures the same legal status as handwritten ones and allow many records and statements to be sent by e-mail. In addition to setting new national . . . Clearing a major hurdle for electronic commerce, congressional negotiators have agreed to give digital signatures the same legal status as handwritten ones and allow many records and statements to be sent by e-mail. In addition to setting new national regulations, the congressional legislation would allow federally mandated records, such as notices that your credit-card interest is being raised, to be sent via e-mail and stored by companies in electronic form. Consumers would have to specifically ``opt in'' to the electronic option, assuring that people without computers or those that prefer paper transactions won't be at a disadvantage.
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