Simple electronic signature (SES)

A simple electronic signature (SES) does not require any special technical precautions. Due to its simplicity, it has little probative value in legal disputes.

What is a simple electronic signature?

A simple electronic signature (SES) does not require any special technical precautions. It is created with freely available software or in an Internet browser.

Due to its simplicity, it has little probative value in legal disputes. Simple electronic signatures are mainly used for internal corporate communications and informal agreements. It is sufficient to scan the signature as an image file to use it for digital communication.

The eIDAS regulation defines simple electronic signature as follows: “Data in electronic form attached to or logically linked with other data in electronic form and used by the signatory to sign.”

For some documents, a simple electronic signature may be sufficient, depending on the content:

  • General Terms and Conditions
  • client information
  • documentations
  • Internal logs, etc.

Technical implementation of the simple electronic signature

With the simple electronic signature, there are no requirements or expectations for complex technical implementation. There is no need for digital verification or protection against forgery. However, the simple electronic signature should be associated with the signer of the document and provide the ability to verify identity. From a legal perspective, it ultimately depends on whether both parties agree to the signature.

The simple electronic signature can be as simple as the image of a scanned signature. Also, classic email signatures are accepted as simple electronic signatures, as is the use of checkboxes such as “I agree” in a web form. This type of signature is typically used for simple commercial transactions, contracts or purchase orders.

What type of electronic signature should I use?

The type of electronic signature you should use depends on your workflow and individual requirements, but most users want to strike a balance between ease of use and legal enforceability. With this in mind, we recommend using the simple or advanced electronic signature if you want to sign documents.

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