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The process of digitalisation has become an essential part of employees’ lives. For actions that are as common as they are essential, such as signing a contract, for example, electronic signatures provide a significant productivity gain. However, although this process of dematerialising signatures is well known to companies, particularly because of the covid-19 health crisis, many companies still use scanned signatures. However, it is worth asking about the legal value of this type of signature. What weight does it carry ?
Does a scanned signature have the same value as a handwritten signature ?
The answer to this question may seem rather clear : “Of course, because the signature, before being scanned, was made by hand”. Indeed, but it is crucial to think further. Can the identification of the signatory be done unequivocally, so that the document can be recognised in its entirety ?
It is necessary that the signature, in order to have evidential value, allows the author to be clearly identified. In the case of a copy and paste operation, anyone could therefore use a signature and affix it to a document. The value of this signature is therefore null and void. The signature must also be a manifestation of the signatory’s consent to the full content of the document. If we go back to our copy and paste example, it seems too difficult to prove that it is the right person who signed the document. The legal value of this signature is therefore weak, if not null, as it is easily disputable.
Is it possible to make it as simple and quick as a scanned signature, but with more value ?
In order to give a valid framework to your electronic signatures, it is therefore essential to have a solution that guarantees the reliability of your signature as well as your identity as a signatory. Different processes, more or less secure, exist depending on the solutions on the market. This is why it is important to use a sovereign partner, with qualifications and certifications attesting to its level of security.
In conclusion, the choice of dematerialisation solutions must be made carefully. Saving time, money and conversion should not be the only criteria to be taken into account. It is important to consider the security standards of the chosen solution as well as the value attributed to your documents in case of litigation.