B. Legal framework of electronic signatures in Germany 78
78 Part II: Electronic signature legislation contracts may still require a handwritten signature. In case an EU member state decides to exclude the applicability of the Electronic Commerce Directive to other contracts, it has to submit a report to the European Commission every five years explaining the reasons for maintaining the exclusion (Article 9.3). B. Legal framework of electronic signatures in Germany The transposition of the Electronic Signatures Directive into national law will be analyzed under German law. Germany also had legislation on the topic before the enactment of the Electronic Signatures Directive. I. German Digital Signature Act The German Parliament enacted the German Digital Signature Act208 on June 13, 1997, which was one of the first statutes addressing the topic of digital signatures. Indeed, this statute dealt only with digital signatures, meaning signatures based on public key cryptography (Section 2.1).209 Nonetheless, the statute recognized the possibility of using other type of digital signatures (the term electronic signature was not used) unless the law required digital signatures in accordance with the German Digital Signature Act (Section 1.2). The German Digital Signature Act established a mandatory licensing scheme for certification authorities (Section 4); therefore, certification authorities needed to obtain a license to issue certificates (Section 4).210 The German Digital Signature Act was effective until the German Electronic Signatures Act came into effect.211 208 Gesetz zur digitalen Signatur, BGBl. I 1997, 1870. The statute was included as Ar- ticle 3 of the Information and Communication Service Act (Informations- und Kommunikationsdienste-Gesetz,...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.