Electronic agreements hinder companies despite widespread use

Authentication issues may arise from entering contracts via e-mail.

Every day, millions of consumers scroll through legal terms and conditions in electronic contracts and click “I agree” to obtain goods and services online. Yet some companies’ online procedures do not even come close to creating enforceable contracts in cyberspace, as evidenced by several recent court decisions.

On Notice

While e-contracts are now widely used and broadly construed, it is essential to include clearly stated notice and avoid ambiguous or unconscionable terms, Epstein says.

Authentication Issues

Other important issues in e-contracts include authentication: For example, when a bank receives an electronic payment order from a customer directing that money be paid to a third party, the bank must be able to verify the source of the request.

Michael Kozubek

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