Physical signatures provide proof of identity and consent. It can be in the form of a name, initials, and x – or any distinctive form that denotes the signer. Traditionally we view signatures as a well-scripted name printed on a document that is legally binding. Signatures are used in thousands of situations- from the permission slip of a classroom for a school field trip, to legally binding contacts between billion-dollar companies. There is no end to the list of ways society uses signatures.
With the technology revolution, and the role computers play in the 21st century- there has to be a better way. To create a document, print it, send it, and receive it back can take days and significant amounts of money. Thus, eSignature was developed. The ability to send documents over the internet and receive them back minutes later is revolutionary. It can streamline the workflow of any workplace, and can lead to thousands of dollars in savings. But, the question stands- are esignatures secure? Are they legally binding? Can one depend on an esigned document to stand up in court?
The answer is, yes. In 2000 the U.S. government resolved the issue of eSignature security when they passed the ESIGN act. eSignatures became legally binding and were given the same weight in court as a handwritten signature. It secures that contracts or eSignatures “may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form.” (section 101(a) ESIGN act)
The bottom line is that it is not the actual mark but the intent behind the mark, resulting in 100% courtroom security. If one signs a document online with the push of a button, it is just as legally binding as a signature signed by hand. Federal judges even use eSignatures– allowing courtrooms to go paperless. If they use it, one can surmise that they stand up in court.
An IP address and time-stamped certification of completion gives the sender an audit trail and evidence of the signature. This document can be used to refute any claims that might arise from a signature dispute. Foxit eSign secures that all esignatures receive certification so neither party needs to worry about the security or legal standing of the eSignature.
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