E-Signature Law Consumer Consent Provisions Working Smoothly, FTC Says

Share this content:
The Federal Trade Commission concluded in a report yesterday that the consumer consent provisions included by Congress in last year's e-signature law have been working satisfactorily.

The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act took effect on June 30, 2000. Its purpose is to facilitate the use of electronic records and signatures in interstate and foreign commerce by ensuring that contracts are valid and legal. The consumer consent provision of the act requires that businesses obtain e-signatures before sending information electronically which the law requires to be in writing. This act went into effect in October 2000.

To evaluate the effectiveness of the consent provision, the Commerce Department and the FTC surveyed 32 groups including technology developers, consumer groups, law enforcement agencies, banks and members of academia.

The study concluded that the provision facilitates e-commerce and the use of electronic records and signatures, while raising consumer confidence. Consumer groups and law enforcement agencies expressed strong support for the provision as a preventive measure against fraud and a means to increase consumer confidence in the online market.

Another benefit of the provision is that it reassures consumers about the legitimacy of an online retailer. Legitimate merchants would ensure receipt of documents and make certain that the customer is comfortable in making electronic transactions.

Some participants did however maintain that the provision adds an unnecessary step that may delay online transactions and could cause confusion that may deter consumers from using electronic records. While these participants expressed concern about the costs and uncertainties associated with the provision, they agreed that the act provided overall benefits.

Although many e-commerce businesses have implemented the provision procedures, many participants of the study said that not enough time had passed to fully assess its effects.

The majority of participants in the study recommended that all future implementation issues should be worked out in the marketplace and through state and federal laws. Because of this, Commerce and the FTC recommended that Congress take no action at this time to amend the provision.


Next Article in Direct Mail

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above