What are UETA and ESIGN laws?
UETA is a United States law which purpose is to harmonize state laws concerning retention of paper records (especially checks) and the validity of electronic signatures.
The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) is a United States law which purpose is to harmonize state laws concerning retention of paper records (especially checks) and the validity of electronic signatures.
The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) is a United States federal law passed by the U.S. Congress to facilitate the use of electronic records and electronic signatures in interstate and foreign commerce by ensuring the validity and legal effect of contracts entered into electronically.
UETA gives the legal recognition to electronic signatures, records and contracts in Section 7:
(a) A record or signature may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form.
(b) A contract may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because an electronic record was used in its formation.
(c) If a law requires a record to be in writing, an electronic record satisfies the law.
(d) If a law requires a signature, an electronic signature satisfies the law.
UETA also provide the attribution and effect of electronic record and electronic signatures
(a) An electronic record or electronic signature is attributable to a person if it was the act of the person. The act of the person may be shown in any manner, including a showing of the efficacy of any security procedure applied to determine the person to which the electronic record or electronic signature was attributable.
(b) The effect of an electronic record or electronic signature attributed to a person under subsection (a) is determined from the context and surrounding circumstances at the time of its creation, execution, or adoption, including the parties' agreement, if any, and otherwise as provided by law.
ESIGN provides definition for the electronic signatures in Section 106
(5) ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE– The term 'electronic signature' means an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.
Similar to UETA ESIGN gives a legal recognition to electronic signatures and contracts
(1) a signature, contract, or other record relating to such transaction may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form; and
(2) a contract relating to such transaction may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because an electronic signature or electronic record was used in its formation.
ESIGN also sets requirements for contract and records retention. ESIGN Section 101(d) provides that if a law requires that a business retain a record of a transaction, the business satisfies the requirement by retaining an electronic record, as long as the record 1) "accurately reflects" the substance of the original record in an unalterable format, 2) is "accessible" to people who are entitled to access it, 3) is "in a form that is capable of being accurately reproduced for later reference, whether by transmission, printing or otherwise", and 4) is retained for the legally required period of time.