01 Nov Laws Are in Place to Make Electronic Signatures Useful for Mobility Specialists
People still like to do things the old-fashioned way, even when the technology and regulations are in place to make things convenient and secure for you online for more than a decade now.
We’re talking about online document signing. As a global mobility specialist, you deal with clients who still prefer to have a contract emailed, printed out and upon signing is scanned and emailed again. Even the biggest companies still prefer to do it this way.
Here’s what you can tell them. In 1999 and 2000, the US federal government passed the ESIGN Act and UETA, which required the government to accept electronic signatures. Granted that the government approves its use but not private ones which, of course, have the right to stick by their rules.
It bears to know a few things about both ESIGN and UETA to make you consider it. They establish that electronic records and signatures carry the same weight and legal effect as traditional paper documents and handwritten signatures, stating: a document or signature cannot be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form.
Still, to qualify as an electronic signature under ESIGN and UETA, the system that is used to capture the electronic transaction must either
- keep an associated record reflecting the process by which the signature was created or
- make a textual or graphic statement that is added to the signed record, reflecting the fact that it was executed with an electronic signature.
Now if you still think online contracts are not secure, think about how physical signatures are not safe either. Anything that’s printed is easy to lose among other piles of paper or worse, stolen. Still, keep a PDF copy of the contract for yourself.
For electronic signatures to become the norm, mobility specialists and private companies and individuals will simply have to be onboard to accelerate its use.