Improving Confidence in Cross Border Electronic Commerce: Communication, Signatures and Authentication Devices
Journal of Internet Law, Vol. 14, No. 7, pp. 25-34, January 2011
Posted: 15 Mar 2012
Date Written: January 10, 2011
The vast majority of business communications exchanged through out the world do not make use of any authentication or signature technology. This is because, in the day to day workings of a business, companies are generally satisfied with exchanging messages by email without the need of authentication other than the basic name, title and address oftentimes contained at the bottom of the email communications. Many argue this communication decision is based upon a realization that companies need to be more concerned about cost and complexity with using the technique- then with security itself. However, the legislative bodies cannot stand ideally as the use of electronic commerce is steadily increasing and is oftentimes only partially or haphazardly covered by laws conceived for other media. Consequently, the law needs to balance the needs of business with the legal reality that much of the law was designed for another media and as such needs updating if not reforming. Without mastering this balance, business will not increase its use of devices and will be left unprotected by the law and as such confidence will continue to wane in the electronic commercial world.
Creating trust in electronic commerce is of great importance for its development. To this end, special rules are needed to increase security and certainty in its use - without drastically increasing costs. The solution must be two-fold - first technology that allows for the implementation of security without undue expense and, second a legal structure that improves the stability and certainty of the system. To date, the technology is well ahead of the law - but that may be slowly changing.
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