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ILPF Updates Survey of State Electronic and Digital Signature Legislative Initiative

April 24, 1998 Montreal, Canada


The Update is not a detailed analysis of the merits of any one type of legislative approach; rather, it tracks legislative activity and attempts to identify trends.

The report, which was released on April 7, 1998, concludes that there is still no predominant approach toward electronic authentication. It does note, however, that there has been increased activity in "general" (i.e. private and public transactions) enabling type laws. Broadly speaking, enabling laws are those that typically recognize any means of electronic authentication for writing and signature requirements.

In addition to enabling laws, the Update observes that the Illinois hybrid-styled model has been met with approval in several forums including Iowa. Hybrid-styled statutes also appear to be increasingly popular. These laws attempt to give blanket recognition to electronic signatures yet give additional recognition, usually with evidentiary presumptions, to electronic authentication methods that afford a higher degree of trust or security. Legislative examples of selected technologies include digital signatures and signature dynamics.

The Update and its full Appendices are available in PDF for download at the ILPF web page at http://www.ilpf.org/groups/update.htm.

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