Electronic Signature and Records Association Concludes Annual Conference Reply

The Electronic Signature and Records Association  (ESRA), the premier trade association representing electronic signature  adopters and providers, held its annual conference in New York City on Nov.  14-15. The more than 200 attendees represented a wide variety of consumers, government entities and technology providers as well as organizations across  several industries either using or interested in adopting e-signature technology. The event featured presentations from organizations including the  Pennsylvania Association of Notaries (PAN), Simplifile, the Internal Revenue  Service (IRS), U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and Maryland,  BuckleySandler LLP and Wells Fargo, among others.

One highly discussed topic was the concern regarding mobile devices and the  complications they bring to paperless transactions. During the panel, “Compliance: Understanding eSignature on Mobile Platforms”,Gregory Casamento,  partner with Locke Lord LLP, a full service, international law firm, reinforced  the security of remote e-signatures, stating, “The most important consideration  with mobile is ensuring customers actually receive those [security] disclosures,  that they see them and understand their meaning.” He also noted the importance  of e-signatures for creating a positive customer experience.

Interactive sessions gave attendees the opportunity to network with peers and  gain insight from industry leaders on the regulatory environment and best  practices for implementing e-signatures and recording into their organizations.  Sessions included:

  • E-sign 101: Overview of key elements of state and  federal law for electronic records and signatures
  • E-sign 102: Identity & Authentication
  • E-sign 103: Compliance: E-Disclosures, E-Delivery  and Mobile!
  • Case Studies From Real World Implementations
  • E-sign Current Legal And Regulatory Review

“Each year it is important for us to bring together consumers, government  entities and organizations that are in involved in electronic signatures and  records,” said Bill Brice, 2013 ESRA vice chairman and conference chairman. “Our  association is dedicated to creating a forum for these organizations to discuss  the latest developments, trends and legislation surrounding electronic  signatures and records. The number of attendees we had this year is a testament  to the significance of electronic processes to many different industries, and we  look forward to a growing attendance at next year’s conference.”

Federal District Court Holds Work-Issued Computer Not A “Facility” Under Stored Communications Act Reply

On September 18, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington held that an employee’s computer, issued by the employer, is not a “facility” subject to protections of the Stored Communications Act. Roadlink Workforce Solutions, L.L.C. v. Malpass, No. 13-5459, 2013 WL 5274812 (W.D. Wash. Sept. 18, 2013). In this case, an employer sued a former employee for allegedly copying and then deleting certain information from an employer-issued computer before leaving to work for a competitor. The employer claimed a private right of action under the Stored Communications Act based on its allegation that the former employee intentionally exceeded his authorization to access a “facility through which an electronic communication service” it provided, and obtained and altered an electronic communication while it was in electronic storage. The court held that the employer-issued computer was not a facility through which an electronic communication service is provided, citing to previous decisions holding that including personal computing devices within the definition of “facility” would render other parts of the SCA illogical. The court reasoned that the plaintiff’s definition of facility would mean that any web site accessed on the computer would be a “user” of the communication service provided
by the computer, and exempt from the SCA because of the exception for communications “of or intended for” that website. The court also held that the employer failed to demonstrate that the files accessed were in electronic storage because emails that have been opened but not deleted to not fit the SCA’s definition of “storage.” The court dismissed the employer’s SCA claim and a claim under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, but retained jurisdiction over certain state claims.