Ireland: e-Commerce Act 2000
The e-Commerce act of 2000 is the primary legislation governing the use of electronic documents and electronic signatures in business in Ireland. In general it is an enabling legislation that clarifies the circumstances and conditions that make electronic documents valid and reliable. There is similar legislation around the world.
Although in general the conditions that are laid down are reasonably easily achievable by companies and individuals wanting to use e-documents, there is one stipulation that has proved difficult, in the area of retention of records. Where institutions, businesses and individuals are required by law to retain certain records for a number of years, this cannot be done with electronic records (i.e. not hard-copy or printouts) unless there is a reliable method of guaranteeing that such documents have not been altered. This is an understandable condition, but it requires technology not only to prevent access (by anyone) to such data, but also a foolproof method of detecting changes for immediate action. Easier said than done, and this barrier has resulted in many organisations that need to retain lots of paper records despite the fact that the rest of their business procedures are e-enabled.
This is one of the reasons Brokerprove uses the Digiprove technology which provides tamper-detection features. Digiprove allows organisations to prove the authenticity, integrity and provenance of digital documents in compliance with the e-Commerce Act 2000 whilst having the additional bonus of allowing businesses to shred paper documents and reduce storage costs.
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