0

In terms of Authentication, Integrity and non-repudiation, is a handwritten scanned signature equivalent to its paper counterpart? For example, if you have a paper contract and you obtain a digital copy of it by scanning it, both are equally valid in a court in the event of a conflict?

If not, what are the minimum measures the digital copy need to have to ensure at least the same validity?

Note: I'm more interested in the case of a captured handwritten signature using a tablet or similar, but I think the example is better with the scanned signature because you obtain two versions of the document signed using different tools.

  • 1
    This will be entirely up to the opinion of your lawyers – schroeder Apr 29 '15 at 17:17
  • The admissibility of signatures in court is a matter of local law and procedure. It varies by country, and often within countries (an answer from Alabama law doesn't necessarily tell you what a California court would say). Keep in mind that at least in US law, a signature is normally just a piece of evidence; it can be challenged, and doesn't settle the matter (although challenging a signature is uncommon). A contract can be valid without a signature, and a paper signature doesn't automatically make it valid – cpast Apr 29 '15 at 17:51
  • 1
    @schroeder Technically, it's up to the opinion of the judge; your lawyers just tell you what the judge is likely to say. – cpast Apr 29 '15 at 17:56
  • @cpast It's far easier, cheaper, and faster to approach a lawyer for guidance. – schroeder Apr 29 '15 at 17:57
  • Flagging as off-topic, this is a legal question. – user42178 Apr 29 '15 at 18:03
1

Authentication, Integrity (?) and non-repudiation are digital infosec terms, and what you want are the electronic terms.

Are you in the United States? The American Bar Association has extensive guidance on this. Try Digital Signature Guidelines: Legal Infrastructure for Certification Authorities and Secure Electronic Commerce for some basic information (the front talks about scanned wet signatures, but the rest of the document is a 'must read' for the use of digital signatures, which is related but off topic.)

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.