Legal framework on Authenticity and Management of Electronic Records in LATAM and SPAIN
“ The year is 2045, and my grand children (as yet unborn) are exploring the attic of my house (as yet unbought). They ﬁnd a letter dated 1995 and a CD-ROM (compact disk). The letter claims that the disk contains a document that provides the key to obtaining my fortune (as yet unearned). My grand children are understandably excited, but they have never seen a CD before —except in old movies— and even if they can somehow ﬁnd a suitable disk drive, how will they run the software necessary to interpret the information on the disk? How can they read my obsolete digital document?” Jeff Rothenberg “ Ensuring the Longevity of Digital Documents” that appeared in the January 1995 edition of Scientiﬁc American (Vol. 272, Number 1, pp. 42-7). Jeff Rothenberg
Law No. 19.799, of March 25, 2002, on electronic documents, electronic signatures and certification services
Decree No. 181, of July 9, 2002, approves the Regulation of the Law
Scope of legislation:
E-documents and legal effects, e-signature incorporated in e-documents, and certification-services-providers and their supervision
Principles: no prior authorization, competition for certification services, technological neutrality, international aspects and equivalency among electronic mediums and paper
E-signature and advanced e-signature: certified by an accredited certification-service-provider; created using means that the signatory can maintain under his sole control; capable of identifying the signatory, and linked to the data to which it relates in such a manner that any subsequent change of the data is detectable
Specific provisions for contracts and requirements
Use of electronic signatures in the public sector
Public documents: an advanced signature is necessary for them
Specific rules regarding using e-signatures on contracts and other public documents
Admissibility as evidence in legal proceedings
Certification-service-providers and their services
Other LATAM Countries Country Legislation on e-document Legislation on e-signature Brazil No Only for the public sector Costa Rica Yes Yes Dominican Republic Yes Yes Guatemala Yes Yes Panama Yes Yes Peru Yes Yes Uruguay Yes Yes Venezuela Yes Yes
Distance agreements and E- Comerce – Legal framework In Spain, the Act 34/2002 on Information Society Services and Electronic Commerce (hereinafter LSSI) unified the main issues regarding the validity and effectiveness of distance contracts, either from a civil or commercial perspective LSSI is the result of the implementation of the Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of June 8, 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market
Distance agreements and E- Comerce – Validity of ditance contracts
There is no need of a prior agreement between the parties concerning the use of electronic means in order to grant validity to a contract signed by electronic means.
Three possible modalities of electronic commerce: business to business (B2B), consumer to consumer (C2C) and business to consumer (B2C).
Pre-contractual stage: The aim in this stage is to duly inform the consumer so that he/she can make a well- founded decision
Contractual perfection stage: the provider has to place information on several aspects of the agreement at the consumer’s disposal on a permanent, user-friendly basis and free of charge
Post contrctual stage: After the performance of a distance agreement, the provider shall confirm the consumer the receipt of his/her acceptance.
In addition to the general requirements to consider that a distance agreement is valid, Spanish legislation provides legal mechanisms for protecting the consumer in distance contracts. Said protection is granted during the three stages of live of the contract: i) previous to the contract, ii) perfection of the agreement and iii) post-contract. Distance agreements with consumers
ADMISSIBILITY OF ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE IN SPANISH COURTS
Legal Framework The use of electronic evidences in judicial proceedings is provided at the Spanish Civil Procedural Law (LEC). Article 299.2 LEC provides that any devices able to store and reproduce words, figures, sounds and images are admissible as evidence in judicial proceedings in the same manner as traditional evidence. Art. 24 states that evidences of an agreement perfected through electronic means shall be admissible under the same conditions as traditional evidences.
Spanish procedural rules do not contain any specific procedure to regulate the collection, preservation and presentation of electronic evidence in court.
Both faxes and print outs of e-mails are considered as documentary evidence and can be admitted in court in the very same manner that a letter or a traditional contract.
Documents provided with an electronic signature shall be granted a higher degree of credibility, as it is high probable that only the signatory has been able to create such document.
Regular Electronic Signatures Recognized/Certified Electronic signature, as a stronger type of Advanced electronic signature based on a certificate recognized and generated through a secure-signature-creation device. Recognized/ Certified Electronic signatures are granted the same validity as a handwritten signature 1 2 3 Advanced Electronic signatures, which permit identifying the signatory and the integrity of the data signed and In Spain, we can make a triple classification of electronic signatures according to the progressive evidence effectiveness arising from each one of them. This classification is mainly based in the device used to create and store them: Documents signed using electronic sigantures
Conclusions Distance agreements are valid and shall produce all of the effects foreseen by the legal system as long as they meet the requirements provided for the validity of traditional agreements. There is no need of a prior agreement between the parties in order to use electronic means of transactions. If a person is required to produce a document that is in the form of paper, the requirement is deemed to have been met if the person produces, by means of an electronic communication, an electronic form of the document.