BILL NUMBER: AB 2296	CHAPTERED
	BILL TEXT

	CHAPTER  144
	FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE  AUGUST 19, 2016
	APPROVED BY GOVERNOR  AUGUST 19, 2016
	PASSED THE SENATE  JUNE 30, 2016
	PASSED THE ASSEMBLY  AUGUST 8, 2016
	AMENDED IN SENATE  JUNE 21, 2016
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  APRIL 19, 2016
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  MARCH 18, 2016

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Low

                        FEBRUARY 18, 2016

   An act to amend Section 1633.2 of the Civil Code, and to amend
Section 16.5 of the Government Code, relating to state government.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 2296, Low. Digital signatures.
   Existing law, the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, provides
that a record or signature may not be denied legal effect or
enforceability solely because it is in electronic form and defines an
electronic signature for purposes of the act. Existing provisions of
the Government Code authorize the use of a digital signature in any
written communication with a public entity, and specifies that in
those communications, the use of a digital signature has the same
force and effect as the use of a manual signature if it complies with
specified requirements.
   This bill would express the intent of the Legislature to clarify
that a digital signature may be used to satisfy the requirements of
an electronic signature under the Uniform Electronic Transactions
Act. The bill would, for purposes of the Uniform Electronic
Transactions Act, provide that an electronic signature includes a
digital signature under the above described provisions of the
Government Code and that a digital signature under those provisions
is a type of an electronic signature as set forth in the Uniform
Electronic Transaction Act. The bill would also revise the
above-described provisions of the Government Code by specifying that
if a public entity elects to use a digital signature, that meets
specified requirements, the digital signature has the same force and
effect of a manual signature in any communication with the public
entity.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  (a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of
the following:
   (1) California is a world leader in innovation and harnessing the
power of new technologies to promote efficiency, consumer benefits,
and economic growth.
   (2) The Internet and digital technologies enable government to
provide services to the public and to transact business more
efficiently than with paper-based processes.
   (3) In 1995, in order to promote e-commerce and digital
transactions with public agencies, California enacted Section 16.5 of
the Government Code, which authorizes use of a "digital signature"
in any written communication with a public agency in which a
signature is required or used, consistent with regulations to be
adopted by the Secretary of State.
   (4) In 1999, California enacted the Uniform Electronic
Transactions Act (Title 2.5 (commencing with Section 1633.2) of Part
2 of Division 3 of the Civil Code), which provides that an
"electronic signature" is valid and enforceable under any law that
requires a signature in any transaction between two or more persons,
including a government agency.
   (5) The definition of "digital signature" in Section 16.5 of the
Government Code and the definition of "electronic signature" in the
Uniform Electronic Transactions Act are similar, and neither statute
includes any cross-reference to the other, leading to confusion in
the marketplace and among public agencies as to what law governs.
   (6) A lack of clarity in the law creates a barrier to public
agencies utilizing fully digital transactions that require a
signature, including contracts, permits, and forms to obtain service
or participate in government programs. As a result, both government
and the public may not realize the benefits of digital transactions
and online services, including efficiency, cost savings, convenience,
and paper reduction.
   (b) It is the intent of the Legislature to amend current law to
clarify that a "digital signature" authorized by Section 16.5 of the
Government Code and subject to regulations adopted by the Secretary
of State is one type of "electronic signature" that a public agency
may choose to adopt under the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act.
  SEC. 2.  Section 1633.2 of the Civil Code is amended to read:
   1633.2.  In this title the following terms have the following
definitions:
   (a) "Agreement" means the bargain of the parties in fact, as found
in their language or inferred from other circumstances and from
rules, regulations, and procedures given the effect of agreements
under laws otherwise applicable to a particular transaction.
   (b) "Automated transaction" means a transaction conducted or
performed, in whole or in part, by electronic means or electronic
records, in which the acts or records of one or both parties are not
reviewed by an individual in the ordinary course in forming a
contract, performing under an existing contract, or fulfilling an
obligation required by the transaction.
   (c) "Computer program" means a set of statements or instructions
to be used directly or indirectly in an information processing system
in order to bring about a certain result.
   (d) "Contract" means the total legal obligation resulting from the
parties' agreement as affected by this title and other applicable
law.
   (e) "Electronic" means relating to technology having electrical,
digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar
capabilities.
   (f) "Electronic agent" means a computer program or an electronic
or other automated means used independently to initiate an action or
respond to electronic records or performances in whole or in part,
without review by an individual.
   (g) "Electronic record" means a record created, generated, sent,
communicated, received, or stored by electronic means.
   (h) "Electronic signature" means an electronic sound, symbol, or
process attached to or logically associated with an electronic record
and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the
electronic record. For purposes of this title, a "digital signature"
as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 16.5 of the Government Code
is a type of electronic signature.
   (i) "Governmental agency" means an executive, legislative, or
judicial agency, department, board, commission, authority,
institution, or instrumentality of the federal government or of a
state or of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of
a state.
   (j) "Information" means data, text, images, sounds, codes,
computer programs, software, databases, or the like.
   (k) "Information processing system" means an electronic system for
creating, generating, sending, receiving, storing, displaying, or
processing information.
   (  l  ) "Person" means an individual, corporation,
business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability
company, association, joint venture, governmental agency, public
corporation, or any other legal or commercial entity.
   (m) "Record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible
medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is
retrievable in perceivable form.
   (n) "Security procedure" means a procedure employed for the
purpose of verifying that an electronic signature, record, or
performance is that of a specific person or for detecting changes or
errors in the information in an electronic record. The term includes
a procedure that requires the use of algorithms or other codes,
identifying words or numbers, encryption, or callback or other
acknowledgment procedures.
   (o) "Transaction" means an action or set of actions occurring
between two or more persons relating to the conduct of business,
commercial, or governmental affairs.
  SEC. 3.  Section 16.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:
   16.5.  (a) In any written communication with a public entity, as
defined in Section 811.2, in which a signature is required or used,
any party to the communication may affix a signature by use of a
digital signature that complies with the requirements of this
section. If a public entity elects to use a digital signature, that
digital signature shall have the same force and effect as the use of
a manual signature if and only if it embodies all of the following
attributes:
   (1) It is unique to the person using it.
   (2) It is capable of verification.
   (3) It is under the sole control of the person using it.
   (4) It is linked to data in such a manner that if the data are
changed, the digital signature is invalidated.
   (5) It conforms to regulations adopted by the Secretary of State.
Initial regulations shall be adopted no later than January 1, 1997.
In developing these regulations, the secretary shall seek the advice
of public and private entities, including, but not limited to, the
Department of Information Technology, the California Environmental
Protection Agency, and the Department of General Services. Before the
secretary adopts the regulations, he or she shall hold at least one
public hearing to receive comments.
   (b) The use or acceptance of a digital signature shall be at the
option of the parties. Nothing in this section shall require a public
entity to use or permit the use of a digital signature.
   (c) Digital signatures employed pursuant to Section 71066 of the
Public Resources Code are exempted from this section.
   (d) "Digital signature" means an electronic identifier, created by
computer, intended by the party using it to have the same force and
effect as the use of a manual signature. For purposes of this
section, a digital signature is a type of "electronic signature" as
defined in subdivision (h) of Section 1633.2 of the Civil Code.
   (e) Nothing in this section shall limit the right of a public
entity or government agency to use and accept an "electronic
signature" as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 1633.2 of the
Civil Code.
   (f) Regulations adopted by the Secretary of State to implement
this section apply only to a public entity's use of a "digital
signature" and not to use of any other type of "electronic signature"
authorized in the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (Title 2.5
(commencing with Section 1633.1) of Part 2 of Division 3 of the Civil
Code).