The purpose of the Credit Information Service Law 5762-2002 (hereinafter - The Law) is to enable a party intending to provide credit or to engage in another transaction, (included among the purposes for which this is permitted to receive a Credit Report) to assess and withstand the degree of risk in contracting with a potential borrower or debtor.
The information that it is permitted to gather and deliver is defined in listed detail in the Law and in the Credit Information Service Regulations, 5764-2004.
This concerns information as to non-payment of debts as well as positive information. The information is only collected from the sources enumerated in the Law and it is only permissible to deliver it for the purposes enumerated in the Law. The Law also allows a person who has received a license, subject to several restrictions, to gather and deliver information about business dealers.
The Law confers on customers (the private individuals about who the information is being gathered), rights vis a vis the Licensee, with particular reference to the fact that the information has been gathered about them without their consent.
The Registrar supervises credit information services and information about business dealers. Any person who is of the view that a Licensee is not acting lawfully may apply to the Registrar and make a complaint to him (see details as to the submission of a complaint).
About the Registrar of Certifying Agencies
The Registrar of Certifying Agencies is charged with implementation of the Electronic Signature Law 5761-2001, and its Regulations, which came into force on October 4, 2001.
> Electronic Signature Background Document
Why is an Electronic Signature Law Necessary?
The increasing use of the internet and other means of electronic communication necessitates the adaptation of the Statute Book (Principal Legislation) to the new reality.
One of the main conditions for the success of this task is regulation of the status and validity of the Electronic Signature. The Knesset responded to this challenge by enacting the Electronic Signature Law 5761-2001 (hereinafter: "The Law") which came in force on October 4, 2001.
The main object of the Law is an increase of certainty as to the validity and status of electronically signed messages.
Types of Electronic Signatures
An Electronic Signature is defined by the Law as "a signature that is an electronic information or electronic symbol, attached to or included in an electronic message".
Included in the spheres of this definition are many and diverse forms of electronic signatures that do not necessarily afford an opportunity of identifying the signatory or verifying the perfection of the signed message, and accordingly legal consequences of the use of a signature of this nature were not prescribed in the Law.
A more certain type of electronic signature is a secured electronic signature produced by a means of signature and can be verified by methods of authenticating a signature. In short, these are a set of keys between whom a special connection exists, where the means of signature is a private key which is supposed to be kept secret by the person in possession of it and where the means of authenticating a signature is a public form which can be widely published.
In order that an electronic signature can be deemed to be a secured signature it must meet the conditions prescribed in Section 1 of the Law, as detailed below:
It is unique to the person in possession of the means of signature.
It enables ostensible identification of the person possessing the means of signature.
It enables identification of a change made in the electronic message after the date of signature.
The purpose of these conditions is to ensure that the recipient of the signed message is able to identify the signatory from the signature, to make the connection between the signatory and the means of authenticating the signature, and verifying the complete nature of the signed message with the assistance of means of signature authentication.
As a starting off point of the improved level of certainty of the secured signature, it was prescribed in Section 3 of the Law that such a signature will be admissible in any legal proceeding as prima facie evidence that the signature is that of the person in possession of the means of signature and that the electronic message is the one signed by such person.
The disadvantage of the secured signature lies in the lack of possibility of the recipient of the signed message verifying according to it, the identity of the person in possession of the means of signature and checking that the message that he received was indeed signed by a person presenting himself as the person in possession of the means of signature and not by an impersonator. Accordingly a further type of electronic signature has been defined in the Law which is called a certified electronic signature.
The certified signature is a secured signature to which an electronic certificate can be attached issued by a certifying agency - a reliable party registered in accordance with the Law - and which permits authentication with its assistance, of the identity of the person possessing the means of signature.
The Law imposes strict demands on the certifying agencies in order to ensure their reliability and the credibility of the certificates that they issue. Thanks to the high degree of certainty provided by the certifying signature, it has been prescribed in Section 2 of the Law that this type of electronic signature is qualified to fulfill the signature requirement under the Legislation, with the exception of certain requirements, which are specified as exceptions and set out in the First Schedule to the Law.
Powers of the Registrar
The main powers of the Registrar of Certifying Agencies appointed in accordance with the Law are as follows:
To examine applications for registration of Certifying Agencies and for registration in the Register of Certifying Agencies, those applicants who have been found to meet the conditions prescribed in the Law.
To supervise activity of the Certifying Agencies in order to verify that they are in compliance with the provisions of the Law and the Regulations made pursuant thereto.
To certify upon the request of any parties so interested, that a certain technology is suitable for the production of a secured electronic signature.
To recognize foreign certifying agencies who engage in activity outside of Israel provided that they have proved that they meet requirements that are similar to those requirements set out in the Law and the Regulations.