A handwritten signature establishes a clear link between a written document and its author. An electronic signature is used to assign an electronic document to its originator, thereby assuring authorship. A qualified signature also safeguards a document’s authenticity (is the document actually from whom it says it is?) and integrity (has the document been changed at any time during the transmission process?).
- An individual's signature cannot be lost or stolen like a card can be
- It is impossible to forget one's signature, unlike a PIN
- Signatures cannot be disclosed to third parties
- Signatures are always given deliberately, where cards and disclosed PINs may be used without consent
- Signatures are considered suitable for authenticating declarations of intent
- Signing with a pen is a familiar and customary process
Electronic signature is a legal term with a certain degree of legal force. Digital signature is a mathematical and technical term and is used for producing electronic signatures.