What is an Electronic Signature or E-Signature?
An Electronic Signature, or E-Signature, is a signature or mark signifying an agreement in electronic form. It allows signers to approve or agree to terms in a document. Depending on the region of the world you are in, an E-Signature is considered less secure than a Digital Signature which includes encryption. For example, E-Signatures can simply be an image of your signature. However, in Europe, Qualified E-Signatures are the highest form of digital signatures and are deemed legally the same as your handwritten signature. Read about the difference between E-Signatures and Digital Signatures here.
Are Electronic Signatures Legally Valid?
The legal validity of an Electronic Signature, or E-Signature, is governed by legal regulations that vary from country to country. Some countries allow almost every E-Signature to be legally enforceable, while other countries and regions define specific requirements for a signature to be legally binding, which may include the use of higher assurance digital signatures. In the EU and Switzerland, eIDAS and ZertES qualified signatures are equivalent to a handwritten signature. Laws governing the use of electronic signatures may also have different stipulations for the type of document being signed.