About electronic signatures

Handwritten Biometric Signatures

Handwritten biometric signature solutions literally mimic the biometric process of signing on a piece of paper. Using an electromagnetic digitizing pen and tablet or stylus and pressure-sensitive pad, a user signs his or her name in an electronic document. The system's tablet and software capture the signature and bind it to the body of the document. Signature data is stored as encrypted data which contains the precise path of the pen or a signature image and summary biometric measurements. After the signing process some solutions additionally seal the document to prevent future changes. Evaluated holistically, these electronic signature solutions provide the greatest capacity for authentication and non-repudiation.

Digital Signatures

Digital signatures consist of asymmetric encryption keys that are issued by a Certificate Authority (CA) and used to encrypt non-biometric "digital signatures" to electronic documents. Essentially, digital signatures use an encryption key to bind a "signer's" identity to an electronic document in place of a unique handwritten signature. Think of it as an encrypted "rubber stamp" to signify approval of an electronic document. This private key is associated with a particular person's computer and can usually be accessed by entering some form of identification, wither a password, PIN, or biometric input such as a fingerprint or handwritten electronic signature capture pad. This system requires that the recipient of a digitally signed document possess a means to de-crypt the message (A public key, disseminated by the owner of a given private key to persons he trusts to view and validate his or her signed electronic documents). A CA serves as a regulatory authority that verifies that a particular encryption key has been issued to the person claiming to transmit a given digitally signed document. It is the private key signature in conjunction with the claimed identity of the signer and certificate authority that serve to validate and authenticate a document.

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