ESign provisions draw business ire

    Date01 Apr 2001
    CategoryGovernment
    3250
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Some businesses are expressing concern that the ESign Act, the new law that gives electronic signatures the same legal weight as written ones, is creating obstacles to e-business as well as affecting Web site design. And they're asking federal officials to . . . Some businesses are expressing concern that the ESign Act, the new law that gives electronic signatures the same legal weight as written ones, is creating obstacles to e-business as well as affecting Web site design. And they're asking federal officials to make some changes to it.

    The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, or ESign, became law in October (see story), but a provision in the legislation required the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce to investigate the burdens and benefits of the law's consumer consent provisions and report back to Congress. The two agencies will hold a workshop on Tuesday to examine the issue (see story).

    John Buchman, general counsel at Arlington, Va.-based ETrade Bank, a subsidiary of ETrade Group Inc., said the main problem with the ESign legislation is the underlying premise that businesses are disinclined to protect consumers.

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