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LEGAL COMPLIANCE FOR ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES

When an electronic signature on a contract or document is suspected, the signature must undergo several checks before it can be considered in court. These conditions may vary depending on legal regulations, and in some cases, documents may not even have signatures (telex, fax, etc.).

In the United States, the required steps for an electronic signature include:

  • Providing information to the requester regarding the legal nature of the electronic signature; hardware and software requirements; signing options, and costs (if any);
  • Authenticating the parties to identify business risks and requirements;
  • Presenting the entire document for review (parties may need to fill in data);
  • Requesting parties to confirm voluntary signatures on the document;
  • Ensuring that reviewed documents have not been altered since signing;
  • Providing original legal documents to parties for retention.

An important issue to consider is forgery (forgery of signatures and forgery of acceptance). The court must assume that forgery is impossible. However, for electronic signatures, forgery is not overly difficult.

Typically, businesses often have to rely on other means to verify electronic signatures, such as directly contacting the signer before transactions, relying on traditional relationships, or not solely depending on electronically formatted documents.

These are business conventions that should be applied in any environment because forgery is also a common issue in traditional business environments. Both electronic and traditional signatures are not completely capable of preventing forgery.

The examples of electronic signatures mentioned above are not digital signatures because they lack cryptographic security regarding the identification of the creator and integrity checks of the data. These signatures are legally binding on documents in specific cases.

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Source: Admin compilation