E-Sign shouldn't bother states
- By Eric Kulisch
- Sep 27, 2000
The federal law authorizing electronic signatures and records should not
compromise most state efforts to protect electronic transactions through
similar means, according to an issues brief released Monday by the National
Governors' Association's Center for Best Practices.
State law will prevail in cases where state law overlaps the Electronic
Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign), the brief explained.
Exceptions include instances where state law discriminates against signatures
or contracts created or maintained in electronic format or where it advocates
specific technologies and means to create such records.
Furthermore, E-Sign only validates the use of electronic signatures
and records in interstate or foreign commercial transactions. Government
procurement and contract actions specifically are excluded from the law,
which goes into effect Oct. 1.
The NGA paper was distributed at the National Association of State Information
Resource Executives' annual conference in Baltimore and is available at
www.nga.org. It offers the following prescription to states:
* Analyze existing electronic signature and record laws that could impinge
on E-Sign. Change any policies that detract from the accuracy, integrity
and accessibility of electronic records.
* Widely publicize the secure features of electronic signatures and
records so that people are not inhibited from conducting electronic transactions.
Lead by example and use those tools in state transactions.
* Don't slow electronic government and electronic commerce initiatives.
E-Sign is intended to promote the use and acceptance of electronic signatures