What is E-signature ?
Section 2 of the Electronic Transactions Ordinance (Cap.553) defines Electronic Signature as follows:
Electronic signature ( 電子簽署 ) means any letters, characters, numbers or other symbols in digital form attached to or logically associated with an electronic record, and executed or adopted for the purpose of authenticating or approving the electronic record.
In gist, electronic signature is symbol in digital form attached to an electronic record for approving or authenticating such electronic record.
Electronic record ( 電子紀錄 ) means a record generated in digital form by an information system, which can be—
(a)transmitted within an information system or from one information system to another; and
(b)stored in an information system or other medium.
The Ordinance recognizes digital signatures as a form of electronic signature. In gist, it is an encrypted digital code used to validate the authenticity and integrity of a digital document, software or a message.
What is Digital Signature ?
Under Section 2 of the Electronic Transactions Ordinance (Cap. 553) Digital signature ( 數碼簽署 ) means, in relation to an electronic record, means an electronic signature of the signer generated by the transformation of the electronic record using an asymmetric cryptosystem and a hash function such that a person having the initial untransformed electronic record and the signer’s public key can determine—
(a)whether the transformation was generated using the private key that corresponds to the signer’s public key; and
(b)whether the initial electronic record has been altered since the transformation was generated.
What is a valid electronic signature ?
According to Section 6 of the Electronic Transactions Ordinance (Cap.553), an electronic signature is valid where:
a) The signatory attaches or associates the electronic signature with an electronic record for identifying the authentication or approval of the information in the electronic record.
b) The method used by the signatory is appropriate and reliable, for the purpose for which the information contained in the document is communicated.
c)There is consent from the person to whom the signature for the method used.
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