e-Signature Problems
In the results from Thomson Reuters Survey; published July 10th, 2018 people have identified several concerns and problems when there is a need to electronically sign a legal document:
  • There is still uncertainty when a document can be executed electronically (40% are not sure which document can be executed electronically; 32% think technology is not aligned with law standards).
  • Signing improperly executed documents.

Problems with paper-based processes

When working with intensive, paper-based processes, such as legal and notarial processes a lot of concerns and problems can arise. In many developed countries, 40% to 60% percent of the companies are trying to implement or have implemented digital services that will reduce their costs in the matter of money and time.
Such an example are traditional notaries, which depend upon the use of paper, seals and ink and keeping it in a physical journal. In order to get notarized in a traditional notary system, a person has to seek help from the notary, travel miles to get his document certified or tested plus the cost involved is high. There is also a risk of documents being tempered or lost due to natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes. Such an example is the incident in Haiti. All the records were lost during the earthquake and people were fighting over land. Hundreds of millions of documents are notarized in the world wills, mortgages, citizenship forms, handgun applications.
In the past couple of years, it is a trend to remove the old way of providing notary services, with the digitization of this paper-based processes. Notaries have shifted to E-Notaries using e-signatures where people can get their documents notarized in an electronic way.
In the United States, there has been a huge increase in the use of e-Notaries. Governments and businesses have accepted it and given it their trust. Every industry can take advantage of the automation of notary services that involve the making and keeping of paper-based notaries. The use of e-signatures will effectively boost the market and reduce the administrative cost involved. Now E-Notarized affidavits are being accepted in court, lobbyists use them before filing their annual reports, adaptation, and legal filing. Most importantly, the mortgage industry can use it by making the process efficient and less complex. Every state has added its own regulations and rules in its legislature.
However, still, there is no guarantee that in case of urgent need or any misfortune the document or certificate is still available and is in its original form in the existing database. In case of E-notarization, your document is not tamper-proof and it is vulnerable to internal fraud and external hacking. E.g a recent data breach attack on DocuSign has resulted in a targeted email malware campaign.
One of the basic requirements for the notary to be valid is that all people who are involved in signing the document to be physically available, prove their authenticity, their willingness to sign and their awareness about the content.
Notaries deter fraud and make sure that signer knows what documents they are participating in. The solution to this is to move e-Notary and all document-based services towards blockchain and make use of its security benefits provided by the world's biggest supercomputer achieved by a distributed consensus algorithm
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Problems when signing legal documents
Problems with paper-based processes