We cannot rule out the fact the world needs e-signatures. With emerging technology and the advent of smart living, it is essential that the concept of e-signatures is also taking root. With E-signature, you are sure the signature appended is genuine and still saves you a couple of minutes.
In this article, we look at e-signature in China. We tell you what an e-signature is, when the Chinese started using them and how they work.
When did China pass the e-signature law?
The People’s Republic of China first came up with electronic signature law back in 2005. In 2015, the famous E-signature law came into effect following amendments to the 2005 Bill. The E-signature Law provides two definitions of e-signature that are based on its different purpose or functions, forms, and its effects.
What’s an E-signature?
An e-signature refers to electronic data that is embedded in a data message. It serves to recognize the signatory and evidence that, the signatory has full knowledge of the contents of the message which in this case is electronically generated, send and stored.
What makes an electronic signature most reliable?
First, using creation data for the electronic signature makes it solely a property of an electronic signatory. Moreover, it is only the electronic signatory who can control the creation data once the signature is typed. This ensures no one else can manipulate the creation data, enhancing its authenticity.
An electronic signature is widely becoming a common thing among the public due to its security-conscious nature. Any attempt to change the electronic signature once its entered is easily noticeable. Similarly, the contents of the message, including any electronic data herein cannot be edited by a second party other than the signatory. A slight change will be detected.
The relief is that a reliable electronic signature is as powerful as a handwritten one. This is according to Article 14 of the law.
How can one implement e-signatures?
Here are some of the approaches one can adopt for the implementation of electronic signatures.
- Digital signature.
This refers to a type of data that is embedded in a given electronic message, to monitor any alterations made on the received document. It can also mean the processes used in the creation of such data.
- Signature using data obtained from biological characteristics like individual palm print.
- A sender’s unique code that the receiver uses to identify the signatory.
Where are E-signatures used?
According to Article 3 of the E-signature Law, e-signatures are recognized in documents relating to civil activities. However, there are exceptions where e-signatures cannot be used which include:
- Documents that contain information relating to rights transfer of any immobile property such as land.
- Documents involving Public utility services like electricity supply
- Documents relating to personal relations like marriage.
The validity of e-signatures is still skeptical among the public due to the vulnerability of electronic documents that are prone to manipulation. Still, the use of third-party authenticators raises a big debate on user data protection.