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The Electronic Funds Transfer Act

Essay by   •  December 27, 2012  •  Essay  •  553 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,308 Views

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The Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA), or Regulation E, was created in 1978 to define and regulate electronic transfers, which were becoming more common thanks to advanced improvements in technology. Electronic transfers are increasingly proving to be more efficient and less costly than any form of physical fund transfer requiring a negotiable instrument, but prior to the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, they were dangerously unregulated. The Electronic Funds Transfer Act sets out exactly what the rights of the consumers are in regards to an electronic transfer. The Electronic Funds Transfer Act gives consumers the right to seek restitution for errors made in an electronic transfer. When a customer notes an error marked on a transaction review sheet, then the customer should contact the institution with whom the consumer fund transfer was made and provide all necessary information. That financial institution would then have a duty, under the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, towards the consumer to determine why the error occurred and to correct the error, if such an error is identified. This is probably the type of practice that would be expected of any such situation, but without the Electronic Funds Transfer Act to codify such practice, some financial institutions might have abused an electronic transfer by ignoring a customer request regarding mistakes made. Electronic Funds Transfer Act provides a good set of rules to protect consumers in basic electronic transfers, but the Internet complicates the situation with additional means of breaching security and concerns with the availability of information.

In the 1980s, personal computers were new and advanced with programming techniques was primarily used by teens and young adults, For the first time, computer systems that contained economic, military, and all types of confidential materials became susceptible to technological breaches of security, pranks and fraud, then it was mainly college and high school students. The laws that were already in place were not enough to address the encroachment and theft, now occurring with the more advanced technology: with a computer, an individual could now commit a million crimes from any computer in the world, without actually being there or leaving physical evidence. The U.S. Congress began deliberation on boundaries and limitations, this became known as "intellectual property" accompanied with a new territory known as "cyberspace." U.S. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 was the result, this act provides a foundation for the prosecution of those whose actions violates standards of privacy and security in electronic communication.

The United States Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, was an amendment to the Counterfeit Access Device and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1984. The 1984 Act was limited, and it only provided for only three categories of any computer-related crimes:

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