Electronic signatures, their advantages and prospects
At a time when digitalization is intertwined with all aspects of our lives, electronic signatures are becoming an integral part in the online environment. For international business, the use of electronic signatures is a simple necessity, because physical signing of contracts by parties located in different parts of the world is virtually impossible.
In this article we will look at the essence of an electronic signature and its impact on the modern digital world. We will highlight the types of electronic signatures and the advantages of their use, as well as legislative aspects regarding them. We will reveal the principles of operation, as well as the role in ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of information. Get ready to dive into the exciting world of electronic signatures with us.
So what exactly is an electronic signature, and what significance does it have?
An electronic signature is an electronic substitute for a seal or signature on a paper document. An electronic signature allows you to verify that a document or message was created by a specific sender and has not been changed after signing.
With an electronic signature, you can sign contracts online, without having to write handwritten signatures on paper. It's convenient, fast and safe. That is, instead of meeting in person, you can sign the agreement online using your electronic signature.
Also, an electronic signature has its own principle of operation and ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of information.
Electronic signatures guarantee the confidentiality of information, since only the owner of the private key can create a valid signature. They also ensure integrity since any change to the document will invalidate the signature. These aspects make electronic signatures effective tools in combating fraud and ensuring trust in the online environment.
Electronic signatures have become a key element of modern technology, promoting security, trust and efficiency in electronic communications and business processes.
Next, we propose to highlight exactly what types of electronic signatures you can use:
- Using a Graphic Electronic Signature when signing an Agreement: it is very quick and convenient to conclude an Agreement remotely, when one person signs the Agreement and sends a signed scan of the Agreement to another person, while the other person performs a similar course of action, signs the Agreement and sends the scan in response. This is the simplest prototype of an electronic signature.
- Use of cryptographic signing tools. This is a simple type of signature where the message is processed by a cryptographic algorithm and then encrypted with your private key. The recipient can verify the signature by decrypting it using the public key.
- Use of a qualified electronic signature. This type of electronic signature is recognized by the legal system of many countries. They are represented by government agencies of different countries. For example, if the country does not indicate what form of electronic signature is used, then you can agree on this among yourself in the Agreement, which electronic keys you will use and using what system.
Advice from our team: Antwort Law recommends that before using an electronic signature for interaction between the parties, it is better to agree and stipulate in the Agreement that the parties will use an electronic signature.
And what countries, after all, allow signing Treaties using a regular signature and scanning? We invite you to familiarize yourself with the following list:
- Great Britain
However, it is important to note that each of these countries may have its own requirements and restrictions on the use of scanned signatures, particularly in the case of documents requiring personal presence or special formalities.
In the future, we will share with you which programs allow you to sign documents in different countries. Here are some popular programs:
- DocuSign: This is one of the most popular services for electronically signing documents in a virtual environment. It allows users to sign, send and manage documents online without the need for a physical signature on paper.
- Adobe Sign: This is an electronic signature software that provides powerful capabilities for signing, transmitting and managing documents in real time.
- HelloSign: This app also allows you to send, sign and manage documents online. It provides a user-friendly interface and the ability to integrate with other applications.
- SignEasy: This is a mobile application that allows you to sign documents on your smartphone or tablet. It has a regular interface and the ability to use different types of electronic signatures.
- SignNow: This program also allows you to sign, send and manage documents online. It offers various features such as signature automation and integration with other services.
We would like to note that Documents sent to State Authorities must be signed with a Qualified Electronic Signature.
Also, today several countries have developed their own digital identification and electronic signature systems. Here are some examples of countries:
- Estonia uses the e-Residency system, through which people can access electronic services, including signing documents with digital signatures. This digital signature has the same legal force as a traditional paper signature and is recognized within the European legal framework.
- Finland has introduced the Suomi.fi e-Identification system, which allows citizens and residents to use electronic services, including signing documents.
- Sweden has an electronic identification system, BankID, widely used for financial transactions and other electronic services.
- Norway has its own electronic identification system, BankID, which allows citizens and residents to use electronic services and sign documents online.
- Lithuania uses the Mobile Signature electronic signature system, which is based on a mobile number and allows citizens to sign documents using a mobile phone.
These electronic identification and electronic signature systems provide countries with the ability to use digital identification tools to carry out various electronic transactions and sign documents in a virtual environment.
Electronic signatures, as we have already understood, have become an integral part of the digital world.
The use of electronic signatures speeds up the processes of signing and approving documents, which makes business processes more efficient and faster. And as we know, this aspect is very important for work.
Electronic signatures allow us to sign and verify documents anywhere in the world, supporting global accessibility and facilitating remote working.
With the constant advancement of technology and the dynamics of the digital world, trying to make the use of electronic signatures even more efficient and secure is an ongoing challenge. Antwort Law calls for further study and improvement of this important tool, as well as active collaboration between the legal, technical and business environments to ensure compliance and improvement of standards.
Junior Legal Secretary