Electronic Signatures and Ethics

Electronic Signatures and Ethics

A. Srivastava (Monash University, Australia)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-987-8.ch027
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The advent of the Internet once again raised the question as to what constitutes a signature and what form of signature should be used to sign electronic documents. This led legal jurists and academics to examine what a signature is. Traditionally, a signature is “the name of a person written with his or her own hand” (Merriam- Webster Online Dictionary, 2006), and since 439 AD in the Roman Empire, a signature authenticated wills (Nicholas, 1965). However, courts have accepted various other forms of signature such as initials, marks, rubber stamp, typed name, and a printed name.1 Thus the validity of a signature is not to be tested by its form but rather by the functions it performs (Reed, 2000).

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