Difference Between e-Signatures and Digital Signatures | 945

Difference Between e-Signatures and Digital Signatures

An electronic signature is a digital form of a normal signature. This signature holds legal importance in many countries. There is no wonder that the use of e signature solutions has increased in many sectors and these sectors are enjoying the benefits of one of the best Esignature solutions.

A lot is said about the signature and its features and how this solution is taking a step ahead towards the future. Let us understand something more about this digital signature or electronic signature and let us see if there is any difference between digital or signature.

The use of electronic signatures has increased since the E-SIGN Act (Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act) in 2000. Due to the present pandemic, the importance and the use of electronic signature has seen a growth. People are understanding the importance of contactless workflow.

Let us see understand the digital signature/esignature better.

As per the ESIGN Act 2000, an electronic signature is a digitized form of wet signature and holds almost the same legal value as the traditional, handwritten signature (based on regional laws). Individuals and institutions can accept or approve the contract/ document with this form of signature (as per the law of the land in this regard).

Which esignature software features the market loves?

One of the most loved benefits or features of the electronic signature is its ease of use. Users can sign the document from anywhere at any time. Users can sign with the help of a mouse/stylus or fingers. Plus, the process of sharing documents from one party to another becomes easy. No need of printing the doc, mailing it through a courier, filing the hard copy to the concerned authority, and making multiple photocopies of the doc to submit it to the concerned parties. Many of the esignature solutions allow users to track the progress of the signed document too.

The presence and spread of COVID-19 have emphasized on the adoption of social distancing measures. Most of the working staff are operating from home. Office equipment like a scanner, fax, or a photocopy machine is not available in most of the households. The obvious solution to this was an electronic signature. And if this was not going to boost the esignature adoption, what will?

As per the SignEasy (a platform providing electronic signature solutions), their platform has witnessed a sudden rise of paid subscriptions by 2.4 times, between March 16 and April 16, 2020.

How to identify if the electronic signature is valid?

It totally depends on the law of the land. However, there are a few common criteria.

  • Theesignsture should be associated with the contract or the document in concern.
  • There should be a way to track or monitor if the content of the document is changed after the signing.
  • Plus, there has to be a way to invalidate a signature on a document that is changed after the fact.
  • The solution must allow linking the signature to the person signing; be it a name, symbol, or any mark that is associated uniquely with the signer only.
  • The signers must be given a unique electronic address or a key proving that they are the one who has signed the document.

Laws governing the electronic signature across the world:

Canada: The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

China: Electronic Signature Law of the People’s Republic of China (original); Later came E-Signature Law with amendments.

European Union: The Electronic Identification and Authentication and Trust Services (eIDAS).

India: The Information Technology Act (that accepts digital signatures but not esignatures).

Difference Between Digital Signature & Electronic Signature

Digital Signature

A digital signature is a kind of esignature, but with more security. When the signer uses a digital signature it gets linked to the signer’s identity just like a fingerprint. Post that, if anyone tries to use the document or the signature, the concerned parties will be notified.

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Which means, digital signatures come with tamper-proof features, and independent verifications, and adheres to the law of the land. All the information is encrypted on the document.

Electronic Signatures

These signatures are easy to use. But, these signatures are not as regulated as Digital signatures. The rules and the standards vary as per the solution provider. These signatures do not come with secure coding as digital signatures. An electronic signature is simply the image posted on the document. Hence, one cannot know if anybody has tempered it or otherwise.

Conclusion

Individuals or businesses are recommended to compare Esignature Software before deploying it. Make sure the vendor and the solution are in compliance with the law of the land. Deploy the reliable solution and move ahead towards a paperless future, where speed and accuracy come easily.