What is a signature?
Laws of most countries have not defined “signature” in any of their dealing laws. With the widespread use of electronic communications, it may be worthwhile to understand what constitutes a valid signature. The manuscript signature provided evidence on three counts;
a) Identity of the signatory;
b) Intention to make a manuscript signature; and
c) Adoption of the content of the document
Electronic signature laws across the countries have been enacted on the same three premises listed above. So long as signature technology produces acceptable evidence of the above three aspects, an electronic signature should be treated as equivalent to a manuscript signature and should be taken as valid in law.
Computer technologies can provide for diverse types of signatures which may seem very different from how manuscript signatures were seen, used, and accepted. In manuscript signature, every one of us had a unique style of signing and in most places, we were asked to sign thrice to keep that as our specimen sample of usual way of our signing. This was also used to verify and validate documents signed by us resembled the original specimen that is held by banks or other authorities. Hardly, we wrote just our name in capital letters as our signature, even though we could have done that in our specimen and thus you could sign all documents just in capital letters like “KANNAN RAGUNATHAN”. Now electronic signature products provide a font signature which raises a question among users as to how can a font signature be considered valid.
While no specific rules or methods or practices exist about how one should sign and put his manuscript signature, similarly there are no specific rules, etc., for form of electronic signature as well. So long the three principles can be proved, how you sign does not matter. It can be free drawing using your mouse (though drawing analogies with our manuscript signature becomes difficult), sign with an electronic pen on your computer screen similar to how you do your manuscript signature, a font signature selected out of various pre-built font signatures, or your signature file uploaded by you which may exactly look like your manuscript signature. CryptoESIGN, provides for all types of electronic signature formats like the one discussed above so that a user can have the comfort to sign the way she/he likes. CryptoESIGN takes care of above three core principles to make it a valid signature equivalent to your manuscript signature.
With advent of electronic commerce and electronic way of doing business, electronic signatures are here to stay and slowly manuscript signature would vanish from the scene all together. If you have not adopted electronic signature, do it today and improve stakeholder satisfaction. It is more secure than manuscript signature and absolutely environment friendly. Adopt today and achieve success!!