An electronic signature allows you to sign something digitally, without having to physically print, sign and then scan a document that needs a signature. Docdown complies with the two major international regulations that dictate the legal framework around electronic signatures: the ESIGN Act (US) and the eIDAS regulation (EU).

How Docdown complies with the ESIGN act of the United States

The E-Sign Act enacted as of June 30 2000 states that electronic signatures are legally enforceable as long as a few basic requirements are satisfied:

1. There must be evidence of the signer’s intent to execute or accept the agreement. This is typically accomplished by requiring the signer to take affirmative action, like typing their name or drawing their signature using a mouse or touchscreen. As long as the signer’s intent to agree to the contract can be discerned from the record, an electronic signature is likely to be enforceable.

  • Docdown enforces the singer's intent to accept the agreement by asking for a signature in form of drawing, typing, or uploading their signature. The signature fields come with a clear statement of intent that the signer accepts when providing their signature.

2. A record of the electronic signature must be created at the time of execution and must show the process by which the document was accepted by the signer. For documents exchanged by email, the emails themselves will generally qualify as a record of the transaction.

  • The signed documents are automatically emailed to the signers when documents are signed through Docdown unless explicitly not allowed by the user asking for the signature. Every document also comes with a fully detailed audit trail document that shows the exact process and document by which the document was accepted by the signature.

How Docdown complies with the eIDAS regulation of the EU

The eIDAS regulation enacted as of July 1, 2016, affects all member states of the EU. The regulation's articles 25 and 26 ensure the legality of electronic signatures.

eIDAS Article 25: Legal effects of electronic signatures

During a dispute, the level of proof will be important. An advanced electronic signature has higher requirements with respect to the level of proof.

Docdown provides the proof of signature in multiple ways to protect the parties involved in the agreement should a dispute arise.

eIDAS Article 26: Requirements for advanced electronic signatures

Docdown fulfills the Simple electronic signature (SES) standards, which are best suited for day-to-day agreements. In more detail, Docdown meets the eIDAS Article 26 requirements as follows:

(a) It is uniquely linked to the signatory

  • Documents signed in Docdown are uniquely linked to the signatory with a unique document ID and document hash code.

(b) It is capable of identifying the signatory

  • The Audit trail document contains the following information to identify the signatory:

    • Email address

    • All inputs made, for example, name, date, and signature

    • The IP address during the signing

    • Time and date of the signature

    • Unique and tamper-proof hash code of the signed document

(c) It is created using electronic signature creation data that the signatory can, with a high level of confidence, use under his sole control.

  • The signatory can keep his email account and/or Docdown account under his sole control.

(d) It is linked to the data signed therewith in such a way that any subsequent change in the data is detectable.

  • Docdown adds a hash code to the document audit trail that accompanies every e-signed document. A hash code is unique for every document. Therefore, even the slightest chance of the document will result in a different hash code. Comparing the hash code of a document with the original hash code on the audit trail will determine the integrity of the document.

  • Additionally, Docdown sends the hash codes of the document and the audit trail by email after all parties have signed and keep a log of these hash codes.

How secure are electronic signatures?

Electronic signatures are legally valid and ensured by the regulations of most of the countries in the world. They are also widely accepted for agreements in any industry.

Docdown ensures additional peace of mind for the enforceability of the electronic signatures. Every document generated in Docdown is accompanied by a full audit trail for complete transparency. Moreover, the security hash codes can be used to check if the document has been changed without your knowledge. All the signed and generated documents are easy to find, so there are no more lost documents.

In this way, Docdown provides a plethora of measures to provide you a safer and stronger legal position. However, it is important to note that only a judge can determine if the electronically signed contract has "adequate" reliability and level of proof. Docdown provides organizations with more evidence than most tools to prove the level of proof.

References

  1. Article 25 and 26, eIDAS

  2. The ESIGN Act, 2000

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