Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act
   HOME

TheInfoList



OR:

The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN, , ) is a
United States federal law The law of the United States comprises many levels of Codification (law), codified and uncodified forms of law, of which the most important is the nation's Constitution of the United States, Constitution, which prescribes the foundation of the ...
passed by the
U.S. Congress The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is Bicameralism, bicameral, composed of a lower body, the United States House of Representatives, House of Representatives, and an upper body, ...
to facilitate the use of electronic records and
electronic signature An electronic signature, or e-signature, is data that is logically associated with other data and which is used by the signature, signatory to sign the associated data. This type of signature has the same legal standing as a handwritten signature a ...
s in
interstate The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, commonly known as the Interstate Highway System, is a network of controlled-access highways that forms part of the National Highway System (United States), National ...
and foreign commerce by ensuring the validity and legal effect of
contract A contract is a legally enforceable agreement between two or more Party (law), parties that creates, defines, and governs mutual rights and obligations between them. A contract typically involves the transfer of goods, Service (economics), ser ...
s entered into electronically. Although every state has at least one law pertaining to
electronic signature An electronic signature, or e-signature, is data that is logically associated with other data and which is used by the signature, signatory to sign the associated data. This type of signature has the same legal standing as a handwritten signature a ...
s, it is the federal law that lays out the guidelines for
interstate commerce The Commerce Clause describes an enumerated power listed in the United States Constitution (Article One of the United States Constitution#Section 8: Powers of Congress, Article I, Section 8, Clause 3). The clause states that the United States Con ...
. The general intent of the ESIGN Act is spelled out in the first section (101.a), that a contract or signature “may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form”. This simple statement provides that electronic signatures and records are just as good as their paper equivalents, and therefore subject to the same legal scrutiny of authenticity that applies to paper documents.Electronic Signatures - Understanding the Origins, Laws and Effects


Sections from the ESIGN Act


Definitions

Sec 106 of the ESIGN Act defines:


General intent


Consumer disclosure

Section 101 of the ESIGN Act, sub-section (b), preserves the rights of individuals to NOT USE electronic signatures. Here the law provides that individuals reserve the right to use a paper signature. Sub-section (c) is in direct support of (b) by requiring a "Consumer Disclosure" that the signatory has consented to use an electronic format. :Section 101(c)(1)(C) states that the consumer also "consent electronically, in a manner that reasonably demonstrates that the consumer can access information in the electronic form that will be used to provide the information that is the subject of the consent". The consumer must provide ''affirmative consent'', meaning that it cannot be assumed that a consumer has given consent simply because he/she has not chosen the option to deny consent, or has not responded to an option to grant consent. The first public implementation of Section 106 of the ESIGN Act came nine months prior to its approval, when in October 1999, Eric Solis, Founder and CEO of SaveDaily.com Inc., a web-based micro-investing solution and creator of the eSolis Brokerage Account, pioneered the use of an electronic signature to establish paperless brokerage accounts. Solis overcame the requirements of section 101(c)(1)(C) by causing the consumer to agree in advance via Consumer Disclosures that all communications, including signatures would be executed and delivered electronically.


Retention of contracts and records

Section 101(d) provides that if a law requires that a business retain a record of a transaction, the business satisfies the requirement by retaining an electronic record, as long as the record 1) "accurately reflects" the substance of the original record in an unalterable format, 2) is "accessible" to people who are entitled to access it, 3) is "in a form that is capable of being accurately reproduced for later reference, whether by transmission, printing or otherwise", and 4) is retained for the legally required period of time.


See also

*
Title 21 CFR Part 11 Title 21 CFR Part 11 is the part of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations that establishes the United States Food and Drug Administration (United States), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulati ...
* Uniform Electronic Transactions Act


References


External links


Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce ActPDFdetails
as amended in the GPObr>Statute Compilations collection




{{Authority control United States contract law United States federal commerce legislation Acts of the 106th United States Congress Cryptography law Computer law E-commerce in the United States Signature