Overview#Electronic Signatures (e-signature), refers to data in electronic form, which is logically associated with other data in electronic form and which is used by the signatory to sign.
Electronic Signatures type of signature provides the same legal standing as a handwritten signature as long as it adheres to the requirements of the specific regulation it was created under (e.g., eIDAS in the European Union, NIST-DSS in the USA or ZertES in Switzerland).
Electronic Signatures can be as simple as a name entered in an electronic document, digital signatures are increasingly used in e-commerce and in regulatory filings to implement electronic signatures in a cryptographically protected way. Standardization agencies like NIST or ETSI provide standards for their implementation (e.g., NIST-DSS, XAdES or PAdES). The concept itself is not new, with common law jurisdictions having recognized telegraph signatures as far back as the mid-19th century and faxed signatures since the 1980s.
Some other Electronic Signatures Guidance
- Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) a United States Federal Law enacted in 1998 that is applicable to governmental transactions and other transactions involving certain federal organizations;
- Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN) a United States Federal Law enacted in 2000 that largely preempts inconsistent US State law and that is applicable to commercial, consumer, or business transactions involving federal organizations;
- Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) a uniform US State law that was finalized by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) in 1999 and subsequently adopted by 47 US State