Snapshot by Countries: Are Electronic Signatures Legal? (Infographics)

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Since our users asked us a lot about the legality of e-Signatures, KeepSolid Sign team conducted a research on this technology. We analyzed the following types of electronic signatures (the definitions are based on the electronic identification, authentication, and trust services regulation (eIDAS)):

  • The e-Signature is a data in electronic form, which is attached to or logically associated with other data in electronic form and which is used by the signatory to sign.
  • The digital signature is the type of e-Signature which verifies the identity of a signer by using cryptographic protocols and certificate-based digital ID.
 Legend of infographics about legality of electronic signatures
Map of Europe, showing the legality of electronic signature by countries
Fast Facts about eSignature in the EU: On July 1, 2016 eIDAS regulation uniformly begins recognizing all forms of e-signature. On October 25, 2017, the government-level document was electronically signed for the first time. In Estonia, 350M electronic signatures have been registered to date. Electronic signing will annually save you the amount of time equal to 5 days,on average.
Map of Asia, showing the legality of electronic signature by countries
Fast Fact about eSignature in Saudi Arabia: In Saudi Arabia, electronic signatures are legal, but because of technological limitations are not yet available to most private parties.
Map of South America, showing the legality of electronic signature by countries
Fast Fact about eSignature in Brazil: In Brazil, your electronic signatures has to utilize the Brazilian public key infrastructure (PKI).
Map of North America, showing the legality of electronic signature by countries
Fast Fact about eSignature in the US: Every state in the US adopted its own electronic signature law, even though all of them are based on the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA).
Map of Australia&Oceania, showing the legality of electronic signature by countries
Fast fact about eSignature in Australia: The number of transactions performed using electronic signature has increased from 210 millions (2014) to 700 millions (2017).
Map of Africa, showing the legality of electronic signature by countries
Fast fact about eSignature in South Africa: If partners reached any kind of agreement (even verbal), their contract is considered valid without any traditional signatures.
 *Disclaimer: This information is based on publicly available sources. Our infographics is not a juridical document. If you are not sure about the accuracy of the aforementioned information, we suggest you apply to a legal specialist.

Types of e-Signatures

Electronic signature technology turned out to be a real digital revolution which liberates you from the print-and-scan routine. It is an extremely convenient solution that helps you to make your office paper-free and save your time (signing documents electronically takes only about 45 sec).

As you may see from the infographics, the legality of e-Signature can be divided into 2 groups.

  1. The first one consists of the countries that allow only digital signatures.
  2. The states in the second group allow any types of e-Signatures, including the electronic ones. Also, the second group has certain nuances. It is divided into two types of e-Signature legal models: Tiered and Open.
    • The “tiered” countries are more widespread, and this is where you may need extra evidence to support electronic signature in court. At the same time, these countries recognize Qualified Digital Signature (or another locally named equivalent) as a special form of proving validation which needs no additional confirmation. A great example of such is Brazil with its public key infrastructure (PKI), the framework that lends legal validity to electronic signatures.
    • On the other hand, the “open” model countries have no special requirements for proving e-Signature’s legality and in court, no additional evidence is required.

KeepSolid Sign can serve as a great example of the electronic signature with advanced levels of security. In our app, we have implemented high-grade PGP encryption in order to protect your private data. It is this reliability and security that put us over most of your everyday e-Signature solutions. What’s more, we are on the way to receive the certificate that will allow us to provide digital signatures, so stay tuned for updates!

Is electronic signature technology legal? Generally - yes, but every country has its’ say on this question. Click To Tweet

Bottom line

Legislatives in different countries have begun implementing e-Signatures since the late 90s, although only now, with the development of technological tools, they are gaining popularity. Despite this delay, we can notice some important milestones in this technology’s development, like the first electronically signed government-level document, or the recognition of an email signature as a valid electronic signature in South Africa. This shows the potential that’s hidden within this little piece of technology.

So, is electronic signature technology legal? Generally – yes, but every country has its’ say on this question. Download KeepSolid Sign and become a part of technological breakthrough, too!

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