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Published on Jul 30, 2021
Last update 30.07.2021

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Electronic signature : an update on its legal value

Saving time, simplifying exchanges, optimising the user experience, reducing costs… The advantages attributed to the implementation of electronic signatures are numerous and now well known. Although the health crisis has considerably increased the use of electronic signature tools, key criteria such as the security of content or the recognition of the service providers used have too often been forgotten. However, they are of course essential for a truly advantageous and sustainable use.

What is an electronic signature ?

An electronic signature differs from its handwritten equivalent, and not only in the way it is executed. Indeed, an online signature is not a gesture, but a technical process, which involves authenticating the signatory, guaranteeing the integrity of the document and giving it legal value. Once it is done (if, for example, you have just signed a PDF), this digital signature is not noticiable : it takes the form of a series of encrypted characters. It is not a simple “scan” of a handwritten signature added to a computer file.

The use of an electronic signature solution therefore goes far beyond putting a name to a document : by authenticating the author (via an electronic certificate) and sealing the file so that any subsequent modification can be identified, the digital signature validates the signatory’s commitment while guaranteeing the integrity of the document. This makes the file unalterable, and the signature both unforgeable and irrevocable. In other words, an online signature is even more reliable, and more secure, than its handwritten equivalent.

What is the legal value of a digital signature ?

This is a legitimate question. If you choose to sign a PDF, say a service contract, will you enjoy the same protection as if you had signed it on paper ? The answer is yes, as long as the conditions are met.

Some electronic signature solutions go much further than guaranteeing the legal value of the signature by surrounding themselves with high-level qualifications and certifications to offer maximum protection, and by deploying functionalities that greatly simplify the life of companies.

Why choose oodrive_sign as a certified electronic signature tool ?

In order for an electronic signature software to offer maximum guarantees, it must have qualifications and certifications attesting to a certain level of security that your company is looking for. In this respect, the oodrive_sign solution attests to the highest level of IT security :

  • SecNumCloud, delivered by ANSSI, (a reference framework for IT service providers in SaaS) ;
  • HDS (for Health Data Hosting, a mandatory certificate for a company that stores services or applications containing personal data relating to the health of users) ;
  • ISO 27001 (the international standard for information security management systems)
  • ISO 27701:2019 aims to enhance the existing information security management system with additional requirements to establish, implement, maintain and continuously improve a personal data management system.

In addition to these guarantees, oodrive_sign includes a certain number of functions that are likely to simplify the electronic signature process for users : insertion of personalisation fields in contracts (Smartfields®), online signature from any device and anywhere in the world, activity management

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