Go to the Main Laws page


Digital Signature And Electronic Authentication Law (SEAL) of 1998


SEAL was introduced to the US Senate, as S.1594, and was
followed closely by H.R. 3472 which was introduced to the US House of
Representatives. This Bill sought to update the Bank Protection Act of
1968 in regards to electronic authentication techniques by financial
institutions and for other purposes. The SEAL law can be read here.

(f) DOCUMENT- The term `document' means any message,
instrument, information, data, image, text, program, software,
database, or the similar item, regardless of how created, if such item
can be retrieved or displayed in a tangible form.

Sec 3(g):

    (g) ELECTRONIC AUTHENTICATION- The term `electronic
    authentication' means a cryptographic or other secure electronic
    technique that allows the user of the technique--
      (1) to authenticate the identity of or information associated with a sender of a document;
      (2) to determine that a document was not altered, changed, or
      modified during its transmission to a recipient; or
      (3) to verify that a document received was sent by the identified party claiming to be the sender.

Sec 6 of the Digital Signature And Electronic Authentication Law
(SEAL). This section states the electronic authentication may be used
if an agreement to use them was made by all parties.

      (1) IN GENERAL- A financial institution may use electronic authentication in the conduct of its business if it has entered into an agreement regarding the use
      of electronic authentication with any counterparty, or if it has
      established a banking, financial, or transactional system using
      electronic authentication.