The advancement of technology has revolutionised the communication in such a way that the conventional methods seem anachronistic.
The business houses and the individual consumers are using computers, facsimile machines and mobile phones as their primary tools of communication and the information these days stored in electronic forms and the old filing ways are on their way out.
It is cheaper, time-saving and ensures smoother business. The challenge before the law is to make the data stand on the same footing despite the change in the mode of communication and of the storage of information.
Electronic commerce, given its speed, form and expanse, is not easy to monitor and regulate, and conventional methods of detection and investigation are of little help.
As the electronic commerce gains ground, it is increasingly necessary for the law to afford effective protection against unscrupulous practices to protect commercial interests thereby protecting and promoting national economic interests.
The increasing use of e-commerce in international trade made many countries shift from the old method of paper records to electronic records.
The International model law provides for equal legal treatment to the users of electronic communication and paper based communication. Hence India, in order to provide the legal recognition to the electronic record and digital signature, enacted the Information Technology Act, 2000.
This law provides for the legal recognition of the transactions carried out by means of electronic data interchange and other means of electronic communication, commonly referred to as electronic commerce.
This involves the use of alternatives to the paper based methods and also facilitates electronic filing of documents with the government agencies.