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The digital signature that certifies your identity, professional status, and organizational affiliation.

The Digital Seal that Keeps your Digital and Paper Documents Secure

CertifiO Code

Trusted timestamp service for time-sensitive documents and emails.

Timestamp

The software that makes digitally signing all your PDF documents easy.

ConsignO Desktop

A digital and trusted electronic signature platform with high-level legal reliability.

ConsignO Cloud

Ensures the reliability of thousands or millions of documents by automating your business processes.

Consigno Server

Easily check signatures, PDF/A compliance, and VDSs (visible digital seals).

Available in mobile, Web or Server version.

verifiO

Foundation

Signatures

One of the key elements of an official document is the signature that accompanies it. Although the concept might sound familiar, it actually varies widely depending on the situation. Here, we define a signature as a permanent mark linked to a document and associated with a specific person, which is unique to this person and proof of an implicit or explicit intention. The quality of a signature varies according to the six following attributes:

  • Permanence. A signature made with a graphite pencil is less reliable than one made with a pen. Therefore, the permanence of the mark is an important factor
  • Link. Is the mark closely linked to the entire document? A handwritten signature on a multiple-page document in which all pages except the last can be substituted is less reliable than a handwritten signature on a single sheet of paper
  • Stability. Once signed, the document must be the final version and must not undergo any more changes
  • Identification. It must be possible to identify the signatory by means of the signature. An illegible scribble without any other form of identification decreases the quality of the signature
  • Non-repudiation. The mark must be personal: Only the signatory must be capable of leaving this mark on documents. If several people can leave the same mark on a document, the quality of the signature is greatly reduced. Therefore, a simple X or initials are insufficient
  • Intention. The signature and the signed document taken together must show, either implicitly or explicitly, the signatory’s intention when signing the document. This intention may be refusal, acceptance, a proclamation, an autograph, etc.

If the signature is considered reliable with respect to these six attributes, it is deemed to be “robust.” From a legal perspective, the signature must also comply with legal requirements. If it does not, it is deemed to be “illegal.” In law, it’s not about shades of grey; everything is black or white. As a result, it is impossible to affirm that any one form of signature, even digital, is “always legal.” To ensure that a particular form of signature is legal, a lawyer must be consulted since several factors need to be taken into consideration: the applicable jurisdiction (Country? Province?), applicable field (Succession? Contracts?), professional requirements, applicable periods, etc. The fact remains that, in spite of this cautionary note and given the present state of information technology, digital signatures offer the highest degree of reliability of all forms of electronic signatures and even outweigh physical handwritten signatures. Want to know more? Refer to our articles on electronic signatures and digital signatures.