The Legal Implications of Digital Signatures: Is a Digital Signature a Legal Signature?
It should be clear by now that a digital signature can provide the following technical security properties: authentication, data integrity, and (in some cases) non-repudiation. A digital signature is a security mechanism. Its meaning in the real world is something else entirely.
A digital signature may be used to create a legal signature, but only if proper procedures are followed. For a digital signature to create the effect of a legal signature, the following must be done:
The signer must view the entire document (or data to be signed).
The signer must intend to authenticate the document to be signed.
The document must be digitally signed in the proper form ...