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The Electronic Signatures Regulations 2002

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Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations implement Directive 1999/93/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Community framework for electronic signatures(1). The provisions of this Directive which are implemented relate to the supervision of certification-service-providers, their liability in certain circumstances and data protection requirements concerning them; provisions in the Directive relating to the admissibility of electronic signatures as evidence in legal proceedings were implemented by section 7 of the Electronic Communications Act 2000 (2000 c. 7).

Regulation 3 imposes a duty on the Secretary of State to keep under review the carrying on of activities of certain certification-service-providers, to establish, maintain and publish a register of these certification-service-providers and to have regard to any evidence of their conduct which is detrimental to users of qualified certificates with a view to publication of any of this evidence.

Regulation 4 imposes liability on certification-service-providers in certain circumstances even though there is no proof of negligence unless the certification-service-provider in question proves he was not negligent.

Regulation 5 imposes a duty on certification-service-providers in certain circumstances to comply with specified data protection requirements. Breach of that duty is actionable by a data subject who suffers loss and compliance with the requirements can also be enforced by civil proceedings by the Crown.

A transposition note setting out how the main elements of the Directive are transposed into law has been placed in the libraries of both Houses of Parliament. Copies are also available from Information Security Policy Group, Communications and Information Industries Directorate, Department of Trade and Industry, Bay 226, 151 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9SS.

(1)

OJ No. L13, 19.1.00, p. 12.

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