In today’s world, nearly every facet of human endeavour has been affected by digitalization, and this is no longer news.
Even compared to the Stone Age, the internet has come a long way, allowing for anything from online banking to online shopping.
We now have electronic signature software, or E-signatures, as a result of the digitization of financial transactions and online purchases.
What Is an e-Signature and How Is It Used?
It is possible to use an e-signature, which is a digital version of your inked signature, to certify your agreement with a piece of writing without the need for an actual signature.
There are many ways to sign an electronic signature, including a free electronic signature, which is the main distinction between an e-signature and an inked signature.
An e-signature can be signed using an e-signing tool, which allows the user to either click or draws the e-signature using a mouse.
E-signatures on documents do not necessarily mean they have been authorised or rejected legally; acceptance or rejection is based on a variety of factors, which we will go over in further depth in a subsequent section.
Even It is used in Google Drive, you can learn from Google or YouTube by searching “How to add a signature in Google Docs”.
Are Electronic Signatures Eligible for Legal Acknowledgement?
Since they are becoming more and more popular, electronic signatures are receiving universal recognition.
Actually, e-signatures are binding in the United States, most third-world countries, and other parts of the world, including Britain.
However, one question remains: Does the legitimacy of electronic signatures depend on the existence of an e-signature on a document?
In spite of the lack of a conclusive answer to this question, the fact remains that a document signed electronically has the same potential validity as a traditional ink-signed document in some cases However, in order to be regarded legally binding, an e-signature document must have three key elements. The following are examples:
Personal Information of the Signatory
It is necessary to verify the signatory’s identity before any document displaying an e-signature is regarded as legally binding.
Electronic identification cards, SMS, and email can all be used to authenticate a signatory’s identity when it is possible.
Here, it is important to highlight that none of the verification methods described above is completely secure.
What was signed and why was it signed?
The content of the document that was signed with an electronic signature is the next component that determines the legal status of an e-signature.
Second, the signatory’s intent must be taken into account when assessing whether or not a document bearing an e-signature is legally enforceable.
It becomes legally binding once all parties have signed the document and the final signatory has submitted an electronic signature to express their approval of its content.
After all, parties involved have signed and the final signature has been submitted electronically to signify agreement to the document’s content, a document is said to be legally binding.
Another consideration is ensuring the integrity of an electronic signature
e-integrity signatures can be identified by looking for evidence that they haven’t been altered since they were signed.
A document signed using an electronic signature must be preserved in its original form and unaltered after all parties have signed it.
Public key infrastructure (PKI) electronic signatures must be hashed and signed using an asymmetric encryption key pair in order to be legitimate.
Even a slight alteration will produce a completely different hash value, preserving the document’s integrity and making it possible to determine whether or not certain alterations have been done.
In the end, the following is what matters:
E-signature is becoming increasingly widespread, however, there are also disagreements about the legal status and validity of a document signed electronically.
There are several requirements that an electronic signature must meet in order to be regarded as legally binding. The following is a list of those specifications.
These include confirming the identity of the signer, ensuring that a document’s substance and intent are not altered, and finally guaranteeing that an online e-signature software is not tampered with or altered in any manner after it has been generated.
An e-signature document cannot be honoured or considered in court if any of the components stated above are not included in the document.