By Khalid Cherkaoui Semmouni, Professor at the Faculty of Law in Rabat and at ISIC
Recent advances in information and communication technology (ICT) have changed our lives in ways that could hardly have been imagined 20 years ago.
Aware that these technologies make it possible to overcome the constraints of geography and time, to accelerate economic integration and the transmission of information, whether in the world of administration or business, and to carry out electronic commercial transactions (“e-commerce”) which are constantly evolving, Morocco has developed an ICT strategy focused on strengthening “digital trust” which manifests itself in a legal framework for electronic transactions to encourage citizens and economic actors, who have more and more confidence in IT tools without feeling a cyber threat or fear of fraudulent use of their data.
In this context, a law n ° 43-20 relating to trust services for electronic transactions was put into force, after having been adopted unanimously by the two chambers of Parliament and promulgated by the Dahir n ° 1-20 -100 of 16 joumada I 1442 (December 31, 2020) and to have been published in the official bulletin n ° 6970 dated March 18, 2021 (the text in Arabic language was published in the BO on January 11, 2021).
It should be recalled that Morocco had already implemented texts of laws relating to digital regulation, such as the case of Law No. 07-03, supplementing the penal code with regard to offenses relating to automated processing systems. data (the first text in Moroccan law which deals with computer offenses and makes it possible to sanction all unauthorized intrusions into an automated data processing system), promulgated by the dahir n ° 1-03-197 of November 11, 2003, the Law 53-05 relating to the electronic exchange of legal data which sets the regime applicable to legal data exchanged electronically (cryptography) and to electronic signatures, promulgated by Dahir 1-07-129 of November 30, 2007, the law 09-08 relating to the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data, promulgated by dahir 1-09-15 of February 18, 2009, and law n ° 2-00 relating to copyright and related rights as amended by Law No. 34-05 contains provisions which make it possible to fight against computer piracy, in particular by criminalizing “cracking” and computer counterfeiting, promulgated by Dahir No. 1 -00-20 of February 15, 2000.
Aware of the development of the use of information technologies and anxious to establish a climate of digital trust, to modernize and simplify procedures, and to offer citizens and businesses more effective and efficient administrative services thanks to information and communication technologies, the Moroccan legislator implemented law 43-20.
This extremely important text will complete a legal framework to regulate the field of electronic transactions: secure exchanges, correspondence, contracts or documents concluded or executed electronically, etc. It meets the limits of existing laws – which we have cited – which show various legal loopholes and remain insufficient to deal with cybercrime.
Also, this law is part of the digital transformation of the Moroccan administration, which constitutes one of the pillars of administrative reform and the simplification of procedures. Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for the digital transformation of the Kingdom.
Thus, Law 43-20 promotes a climate of trust from which economic players, administrations, public bodies and citizens will benefit, who will feel protected to carry out more and more transactions online.
Likewise, the law provides for the creation of a national authority of electronic transaction trust services (ANSCTE), considered a gendarme of digital trust. This institution will be responsible for determining the standards and benchmarks applied to trust services, granting accreditations to companies providing this type of service and monitoring their activities.
In conclusion, economic players essentially expect the administration to provide them with information and simplify their administrative procedures in an environment of electronic trust. Above all, that our economy, to be ever more efficient and competitive, needs more than ever to be digital. This is a major stake for the future of Morocco.