Legality of Signsquid's signature
In the modern world, electronic transactions constitute more and more the norm. Several international organizations have been working on different principles that will enable citizens of the world to render their signature electronically.
In 1996, the United Nations (UN) adopted a model law regarding electronic commerce, and in 2001, the UN adopted a model law on electronic signatures. These model laws have been used to implement the legal principles inherent to electronic signatures in most countries around the world.
In Canada, September 1999, a conference regarding the standardization of Canadian law was held and it then led to the adoption of the Uniform Electronic Act. Every canadian province, except for Quebec, adopted the uniform rules set forth by the model law. In respect to the Canadian federal government, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act was adopted.
The laws in Quebec, pertaining to electronic signatures, can be found in the Civil Code of Quebec and the Act to establish a Legal framework for information technology. The legal principals established by these two sources of law in electronic commerce are directly imported from the United Nations Model Law on Electronic Commerce.
In the United States in 1999, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Law adopted the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act, which is based mostly on principles put forward by the United Nations. The Federal Governement of the United States has meanwhile adopted the Electronic Signature in Global and National Act. In Europe, the Directive 1999/93/EC, issued by the European Parliament, provides the union's legal framework for electronic signatures.
In light of the legal corpus adopted around the world, we can certify that an electronic signature is indeed legally valid. In short, a signature consists in the affixing by a person, to a writing, of his name or the distinctive mark which he regularly uses to signify his intention. The electronic signing process introduced by Signsquid ensures the previously stated definition and announced criteria. Indeed, the person who signs a document via Signsquid must inscribe a unique code to the desired document in order to sign it.
After having downloaded a document or contract using the Signsquid platform, this platform generates unique links that are sent to each signatory. These unique links are created by random algorithms that ensure that each signatory receives a different link. This link then designates the place where the signatory can sign the document through the Signsquid's platform.
In order to affixate its signature, the signatory must write a personal and unique code that will be provided to him verbally, via telephone, by the initiator of the document or contract that needs to be signed. Ultimately, this code is the «distinctive mark» that consists in the signature of the signing party or parties.
The initiator of the document or contract is the one that communicates the unique code generated by Signsquid's platform algorithm. However, the initiator does not have access to the unique link generated by the platform. Solely the signatories will receive the unique links by email. By verbally communicating the personal code to the different signatories, this ensures the verification of the identity of the signatories by the initiator.
By affixing the unique code, the signatory electronically signs the document or contract in question. The platform then affixes a seal on the document or contract following the compilation of several informations concerning the identity of the signatory such as the IP address, the date, the time and the unique code that solely the signatory could use to sign the document or the contract. The signed document is then stored on the Signsquid platform and a verification code is generated in order to ensure the integrity of the electronic document. Thereof, no tampering is possible.
Generally, the laws pertaining to electronic signature require technological neutrality. This means that the electronically signed contract is equally valid even though it is transferred to a non electronic medium, for example if its printed on paper. The Signsquid's platform affixes a Signsquid registered watermark which ensures the integrity of the electronically signed contract that can be printed afterwards. In addition, the Signsquid platform affixes the electronic signatures in a print friendly way at the end of the signed contract on the platform. This allows the users to print a copy of the electronically signed contract to serve as a legally signed hard copy.
In the event of a dispute, if the electronic signature is challenged, what can I do?
The electronic signing process developed by Signsquid is rigorously based on the existing applicable laws in order to ensure its legal validity. Indeed, the Signsquid platform was elaborated in order to certify the integrity of the process put forward by the various laws pertaining to electronic signature. If an esignature affixed via our platform is contested, we will demonstrate its legal validity.
We offer a legal warranty and all necessary legal expenses for this proof will be assumed by Signsquid. Indeed, our lawyers that audited our platform will collaborate with your legal advisors in order to provide them with the necessary arguments to demonstrate that the esignatures collected via Signsquid are legally valid. Our software engineers can also collaborate with your legal representatives in order to explain the technological means used to electronically sign the desired documents or contracts.
In order for this warranty to apply, it is necessary to comply with the fair practices prescribed by our platform. Particularly, it is mandatory that the unique code which permits the electronic signature is transmitted by telephone or in person, and that, after verifying the identity of the signatory to whom the unique code was released. It is strongly advised not to communicate the unique code by electronic mail. Furthermore, it is strongly recommended to read with attention the terms and conditions for the use of Signsquid.
Take notice that it is also of your responsibility to ensure the legal ability of the signatories (in most cases, a person of full age). Every jurisdiction may have different criteria.