RealTime IT News

Bill to Provide Legal Framework for E-Commerce in Hong Kong

An e-commerce bill will be submitted to Hong Kong's Legislative Council (LegCo) later this year, a Hong Kong government IT official said in a speech.

K. H. Lau, the director of Information Technology Services, said on Tuesday that "a new bill entitled the Electronic Transactions Bill will be introduced later this year to provide the necessary legal framework and a secure and trusted environment for the conduct of electronic transactions in the HKSAR."

Lau indicated that, when enacted by LegCo, the bill will provide the legal recognition necessary for electronic records and digital signatures.

"It will also provide the legal framework for the operations of the Certification Authorities (CAs) to authenticate the identity of participants in electronic commerce," added Lau.

The official said that the bill was indicative of the Hong Kong government's dedication to rapidly developing and widely adopting digital technology.

The government's "Digital 21" IT strategy aims to develop Hong Kong into a regional IT hub.

"A major thrust of this strategy is to enhance the information infrastructure of Hong Kong in order for us to take advantage of the rising prospects of e-commerce," Lau said.

Various initiatives have materialized from this strategy including the Government's own Electronic Services Delivery (ESD) scheme and the Hongkong Post's establishment of a public key infrastructure, a public certification authority, and a Certification Authority Recognition Office. The e-commerce bill will provide the legal framework for these initiatives.