The European Commission has launched a public consultation designed to investigate how electronic signatures and electronic identification and authentication could help propel online commerce across the region.
The EC said that difficulties authenticating people's identities and signatures are significant factors holding back the development of the EU's online economy.
"I welcome everybody's views on how we can best verify people's identities and signatures when we buy, sell or undertake administrative procedures online that need to be highly secure," said Neelie Kroes, European Commission vice president for the Digital Agenda.
"I want to help all Europeans get online without feeling that they will fall victim to data frauds or scams."
The consultation will seek feedback on citizens' and businesses' expectations of EU rules on electronic signatures, identification and authentication, as well as the IT sector’s views on technological challenges.
The EC said that the results of this consultation will feed into its review of the existing eSignature Directive and the preparation of a planned initiative on the mutual recognition of electronic identification and authentication.
The EC is already trialling the large scale Secure idenTity acrOss boRders linKed project designed to enable cross-border recognition of electronic identification systems and easy access to public services in 18 European countries.
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