The European Union is to debate on standards for electronic signatures. A meeting today at the Council of Telecommunications Ministers will seek for a compromise between the countries which want the legal recognition of electronic signatures linked to certain products, such as smart cards, and others which believe this would be too restrictive.
The UK is eager for electronic signatures to gain the same legal weight as hand-written signatures and is in the process of devising the Secure Electronic Commerce Bill to remove existing obstacles to this.
There is concern that an agreement needs to made quickly as any delay could cause different European countries to introduce incompatible legislation.
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