The theories of 'Survival of the fittest' and 'Struggle for existence' as coined by Charles Darwin hold prominence even in today's digital age, where its every man for himself as he tries to battle it out for food, money, shelter and luxury. Owing to this, man has very little time to pay attention to his property, tax deeds and even his own health or his child's future sometimes! This has led to the upcoming of many life insurance schemes and property deeds (with facilities for power of attorney) with the help of which various organizations help lighten the burden on mans shoulder by managing some aspects of his life. But these are significant documents of high value, and there are many standard legal procedures that come with the signing of such documents.
Notarizing or having a legally authorized individual witness signatures and certify the validity of documents has been around for ages and is still valued as one of the most essential procedures to be followed while signing a document, no matter how important. And technology has simplified the process by devising the 'Electronic Notary'. It hastens the speed of notarizing both hard and soft copies of documents. But it is mandatory that this procedure is equally efficient, if not more than the manual paper-based notarization technique. In the traditional method, a notary journal is maintained where the pages of the documents are inserted as per the recorded date in a sequential manner. This provides solid evidence if some tampering occurs. The electronic version should replicate the same function efficiently. Cryptography and secure hashing should be used bind the signatures to the data in the document along with the date, and in case of any changes, the records should be invalidated.
But even encryption techniques cannot provide the same level of protection against viruses and worms as can be done by the traditional security policies. A word of caution from the experts is that along with the encryption of the notary journal and its password protection, extra security in terms of validation of biometric input such as a signature or a fingerprint should be enforced for permitting access to the journals contents. It is also said that saving the signatures as images is possibly one of the biggest mistakes that could be made as it makes the signature susceptible to thievery and fraud. If properly enforced, this system could help save both time and money, both of which have become scarce in today's materialistic world.
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- Image: Interlink Electronics - Electronic signature, mobile electronics