Framework conditions for electronic signature
In the future, insurance and purchase contracts as well as administrative procedures and other processes requiring a signature should be able to be processed completely safely over the Internet. On Thursday, the Federal Council cleared the way for the electronic signatures required for this, with which documents sent online can be clearly and legally assigned to a person.
Since the Bundestag has already voted, the law can now come into force. It is a prerequisite for electronic signatures to be legally equivalent to handwritten signatures in future. Federal Minister of Economics Werner Müller (independent) is of the opinion that this law 'opens the door to Europe for the broad use of electronic signatures in the European internal market'. Electronic signatures bring enormous advantages, especially for banks and public administrations, as customers can now conduct their business over the Internet, saving staff in the branches and town halls. For this reason, the leading private banks want to issue several million ec cards with electronic signatures to customers as early as autumn and thus help the new encryption method achieve a breakthrough. The chip card is connected to the computer via a reader, whereby part of the encryption is publicly accessible for the authenticity check and the other part remains the user's private secret. Germany is one of the first countries to implement the signature directive of the European Union, but Germany is still one of the developing countries in terms of broadband internet access and flat rates for private individuals. For example, a flat rate for a maximum price of DM 50 has recently become a legal requirement in Portugal.