Electronic means, including the Internet, is one of the media for conducting commercial and trading activities. In general, legislation regulating the various aspects of commercial and trading activities (such as the use/collection/storage of personal data, trade description, consumer goods safety and copyright) is also applicable to commercial and trading activities conducted through electronic means. If criminal activities are involved, they can be dealt with by the Crimes Ordinance or other relevant legislation.
Moreover, with a view to facilitating the development and adoption of e-business, the Electronic Transactions Ordinance (Cap. 553) was enacted in 2000 to provide a clear legal framework for the conduct of electronic transactions. For instance, the Ordinance accords electronic record and digital signature the same legal status as that of their paper-based counterparts. We also introduced the Electronic Transactions (Amendment) Bill 2003 into the legislature last year with a view to updating and improving the Ordinance, and thereby facilitating the adoption of electronic transactions. The Amendment Ordinance, if enacted, will come into operation on June 30 this year.