Sunday, March 14, 2010

Electronic Signatures

Signing things is the acknowledgment of your "mark" - your word, your agreement, your acknowledgment, a contract. For those illiterate and unable to write all that is required is a mark (usually an "x") that is witnessed by someone.
Enter the world of technology.  Now we sign key pads at retail stores and "sign" with electronic signatures.Sometimes the electronic signature consists of a check-box acknowledging you read the agreement (does anyone really read all those software agreements?).  Some people have a digital representation of their actual signature on their emails.  Outlook has digital signatures, digital ID and certificates (and I've never used them or had something sent to me with these options). 
I just finished helping Jenna with her 2009 taxes (an experience she dreads) and the e-file/i-file requires electronic signatures consisting of last years AGI and/or a Pin. Contrast that signature requirement with Fidelity who wouldn't let me scan a document with my handwritten signature and send it via email to them - it had to be a fax of the document.
The most famous signature of all will never be electronic-  or is it?

No comments:

Post a Comment