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EU Announces New Electronic Signature Directive

Tax-news.com

05 December 1999


The European Union is planning new regulations for the use of electronic signatures. The new directive will define EU requirements for electronic signature certificates and certification services.

Under the proposed regulations, electronic signatures will have the same legal status as written signatures and will be admissible as evidence in court proceedings. The regulations will also include measures to ensure free circulation of products and services related to electronic signatures and create minimum liability standards for service providers in relation to the validity of a certificate's content.

The regulations are aimed at providing a secure framework for e-commerce in the EU and strengthen its competitiveness in the global e-commerce market. The European Commissioner for Enterprise Erkki Liikanen said "without security and trust, there won't be a notable shift towards commercial and financial transactions on the Internet".

Internal market Commissioner, Frits Bolkestein said the EU's approach of technology neutral government regulation combined with self-regulation "is designed to put Europe in the forefront of this revolution."

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