Online Signatures Essay

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Electronic Contracts and The Federal Electronic Signature Act By: Jeff Hatfield March 23, 2009 Professor Beverly A. Lee Legal & Regulatory Environment of Business Electronic Contracts and The Federal Electronic Signature Act In a day and age where business is conducted largely over the Internet, laws were created to establish a strict manual on dealing with these new age electronic contracts. These contracts hold the same weight legally as a paper contract signed by two parties. The government established the Electronic Signatures in Global and International Commerce Act in the year 2000 to rid the Internet of flawed contracts. From that point on, online business has thrived greatly one year to the next. This first law in e-business established online signatures as fully legal just as a paper contract would be. Commerce soared when legislation passed this law, making it easier for businesses to buy, sell, and interact with consumers in the fastest possible way. For each and every company online, these laws help them conduct business with no fear of being conned or loosing any profits. Conducting business online is proven to cost less to the businesses, which in turn can lower the price consumers pay for their products. The idea of an “online contract” was a bit of a hazy topic in the beginning. People were skeptical of the idea of a contract without a pen and paper. However, almost every household in the United States at one time or another now uses electronic contracts. From paying bill online, shopping for that new suit you’ve always wanted, or comprising a contract for your business partner to sign off on, electronic contracts are used in each and every scenario. The most common online contract we see is the “Click to Agree” contract. Anytime you install new software or hardware you will have to first check a box that

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