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An e-signature refers to any data–symbol, sound, or process– in electronic form, related with other data–record or contract–in electronic form, which is adopted by the signatory, showcasing his/her intent to sign. Also, e-signatures can be electronically signed authorizations, verbal authorization, or simply be the click of a checkbox. This kind of signature holds the same legal value as a handwritten signature as long as it follows the requirements of the specific ordinance it was created under. An e-signature is primarily intended to allow an accurate and secure identification approach for the signer to allow a smooth transaction to happen.

An advanced e-signature with the below requirements are the commonly used assessment standards in most countries:

  • The signature should be linked to signatory who can be uniquely identified.

  • The private key which was used to create the e-signature must solely be controlled by the signatory.

  • It should be possible for the signature to be able to identify if the accompanying data is tampered with, after the data has been signed.

  • The signature must be automatically invalidated if the accompanying data is found to be changed.

E-signatures can be produced with higher levels of security, with each level having its own set of requirements and medium of generation at each level proving the validity of the signature. A few countries like Switzerland and the European Union have introduced qualified electronic signature to convey a stronger and significant value for an e-signature. The authorship of any data that is signed with a qualified electronic signature is hard to be challenged since the statement is non-reputable. The implementation of a qualified e-signature is done through an advanced e-signature which is encrypted using a security signature-creating device and utilizes a digital certificate.

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