August 30, 2017
Tim Osborn, of Osborn Law, wrote recently in the Newcastle Herald about a court case that highlights the risks in relying on scanned signatures as a form of signing. It’s a reminder that if you need to sign, then you should sign with a tamper proof digital signature that is unique to you and your document. Nothing else is worth the risk.
In the case in question, an electronic image of the signature was readily accessible on the corporate network. The court held that documents signed by simply pasting the image into a document, were not legally binding. It was not possible to demonstrate that the owner of the signature had personally applied their signature to the document or given their explicit consent to do so. The result was a loss of business and a costly court case. It could have all been avoided by using a digital signature service such as Secured Signing.
Signing a document using Secured Signing is as a simple click to sign process that differs from scanned signatures in a number of really important ways.
The first is that Secured Signing gives you an automated log of every action performed in the signing process. This is one of the key pieces of advice Mr Osborn gives in his article. Good quality record keeping is invaluable in demonstrating that a signed document is evidence of a legally binding agreement. Secured Signing completely automates the logging of every action so your people don’t have to waste their time, keeping manual records of who did what and when.
The second is validating the identity of your signer. A key problem in the case referenced is that it could not be demonstrated that the person who applied the signature to the document was the owner of the signature. Secured Signing creates unique credentials for each person who will sign your document that only they can access. Adding video confirmation to your signing process captures a brief video recording of the person signing your document, to give you a signed document that cannot be reasonably challenged.
The final thing I’ll mention is the inherent authenticity and reliability of PKI based digital signatures. A digital signature is much more than a graphical representation of a person’s signature. It provides sophisticated methods to seal the signed document from tampering and creates an irrevocable, unforgeable and no transferrable link between the signer and the document.
As you know, inviting people to sign your documents with Secured Signing is quick, simple, inexpensive and reduces your risk. Share with your friends and colleagues that they too can enjoy the benefits Secured Signing, help us spread the word and they can be signing documents online today with one of our Freeway evaluation accounts.
‘til next time