The Electronic Transaction Act-2007 (ETA) was enacted to create a predictable legal environment for E-commerce.This act makes legal provisions for authentication and regulation for the recognition, true-ship, integrity and reliability of creation, production, processing, storage, and communication and dissemination system of electronic records by making reliable and secured to the transactions carried out by means of electronic data interchange and other means of electronic communication. The act makes provisions for controlling of unauthorized use or illegally changes in any electronic record.

In this Act:

  • Electronic means created, recorded, transmitted or stored in digital or other intangible form by electronic, magnetic or optical means or by any other means.
  • Electronic Agent means a computer program or other electronic means used to initiate activity.
  • Electronic Signature means electronic form of signature by a person in electronic records.

ETA-2007 addresses the following issues:

  • It clearly defines the rights and obligations of the transacting parties and addresses the legal aspects of electronic contracts including digital signature for authentication and non-rejection.
  • It has a provision of electronic signature for all government departments and legal bodies and can publish documents in electronic form as well as accept the document from other parties in electronic form without changing their respective acts. In addition, it also allows public bodies to issue permits and licenses electronically.
  • ETA specifies that network service provider will not be subject to criminal or civil liability for third party material, in relation to which they are merely the host. However legally restricted content may subject to crime.
  • Under ETA, there is a provision of appointment of Controller and certifying authority for enabling and regulating the process of licensing, recognition of foreign certification authorities (CA) etc. Besides, The Controller may, as per the necessity, appoint an Auditor in each year on contract to audit the performance of the Certifying Authority.