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Electronic Signatures to become law

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Electronic signatures are soon to become law and given the same status as real ones in a move to speed up transactions that take place over the internet.

The Cabinet Office have approached the industry body, E-Centre UK who has 16,000 members, to change old legislation that requires documents to be signed or exchanged physically in order for them to become legally binding.

New laws were recently introduced following a European directive that covered a range of transactions such as house buying, employment contracts and consumer credit. This new act on digital signatures appears to make the purchase of properties possible by signing and exchanging contracts, however under current property laws, the sale would be illegal.

E-Centre UK are hoping to change up to 50 existing laws by the end of 2001 and this would certainly be a step towards improving e-commerce within Europe as it appears to be lagging far behind the US.

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