Four bills are pending in the Chilean Congress concerning the security of internet transactions. The legislation regulates the following:

  • the integrity of electronic documents;
  • the authentication of parties involved;
  • time-stamping;
  • the non-repudiation of electronic documents; and
  • the privacy of the content of electronic documents.

In order to achieve practical solutions regarding these issues, the bills also regulate electronic signatures and the creation of certifying authorities.

The bills recognize electronic documents and contracts as being valid before courts of law. This is important because domestic law provides that certain contracts or obligations can only be evidenced if they are attested in writing. Effectively, the bills propose the homologization of electronic documents with paper documents, although exceptions are made for documents pertaining to solemn acts.

According to the proposals, when an electronic document is presented in court, the court will come to a decision in relation to the proof provided, taking into consideration the ways in which the message was created, filed or communicated, its integrity and the identification of its author.

Currently, in most civil procedures, the judge can only consider as sufficient those types of evidence which are listed in the Civil Procedural Code. Electronic messages are not yet among these, but they may eventually be treated as other authorized types of evidence (eg, instruments or confessions) in order to show the consent of the parties.

The recognition of electronic documents as valid evidence in courts of law, together with the regulation of digital signatures, electronic documents and certifying authorities, will help to make online transactions more secure, thus decisively contributing to the development of e-commerce.

For further information on this topic please contact Juan Guillermo Levine or Guillermo Carey at Carey y Cía by telephone (+56 2365 7244) or by fax (+56 2633 1980) or by e-mail ([email protected] or [email protected]).

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