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Regulators Request Comment on E-SIGN Consumer Consent Requirement
Washington, DC, February 14, 2001 - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Commerce (DoC) recently issued a notice requesting public comment and academic papers, and announcing a public workshop, to inform their study on the benefits and burdens of the consumer consent requirement of recent E-SIGN legislation. Comments and papers are requested on or before March 16, 2001.
Congress enacted the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN) to facilitate the use of electronic signatures and records in interstate or foreign commerce and remove uncertainty about the validity of contracts entered into electronically. Section 105(b) of E-SIGN requires the FTC and the Secretary of Commerce to study and report to Congress, by June 30, 2002, on the benefits and burdens of the consumer consent requirement in Section 101(c)(1)(C)(ii) of E-SIGN. This provision states that if information is required to be provided or made available to a consumer in writing, the information may be provided electronically only if the consumer "consents electronically, or confirms his or her consent electronically, in a manner that reasonably demonstrates that the consumer can access information in the electronic form that will be used to provide the information that is the subject of the consent."
ESIGN requires that the FTC and the Secretary of Commerce address five aspects of Section 101(c)(1)(C)(ii) in their report to Congress. These are:
Staff of the FTC and the DoC’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration will conduct a public workshop to discuss the issues raised by comments received in response to the notice on April 3, 2001 from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the FTC, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. Criteria for the selection of workshop participants are set forth in the notice.