Definition

Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (e-signature bill)

The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (often referred to as the e-signature bill) specifies that in the United States, the use of a digital signature is as legally valid as a traditional signature written in ink on paper. In effect since October 1, 2000, the U.S. law is expected to save companies that use e-signatures a significant amount of money by reducing the costs of mailing and handling hard-copy contracts and similar documents.

The Act does not specify a single digital signature technology. Many e-signature advocates expect that the public key infrastructure (PKI), used for authenticating credit card transactions over the Web, will play an important role in the development of secure e-signatures. Several third-party companies are now exploring other methods to verify a person's legal identity, including the use of personal smart cards, PDA encryption devices, and biometric verifications (fingerprint, voice, or iris scans). Experts agree that until the legality of e-signatures has been tested in the courts, the routine use of e-signatures is likely to be several years away, primarily because businesses lack confidence in present security and verification procedures.

Contributor(s): Roope Aaltonen
This was last updated in September 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Email Alerts

Register now to receive SearchSecurity.com-related news, tips and more, delivered to your inbox.
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

More News and Tutorials

Do you have something to add to this definition? Let us know.

Send your comments to techterms@whatis.com

There are Comments. Add yours.

 
TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: