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Adobe’s service for electronically signing PDF (Portable Document Format)
and other documents. You can also embed a signature you draw with your mouse. It
per month for individuals and
per month for small businesses.
EchoSign is an Electronic Signature
service, not a Digital Signature service. Digital signatures have a higher security standard using third party
certificates to prove identity of the signer. EchoSign applies an electronic signature, but only to documents that are uploaded to the
service and wholly controlled within the service.
Advantages Of EchoSign
EchoSign is very inexpensive compared with certificate-based document signing
where the certificate authority has to thoroughly research to validate each signer
is who he claims to be and issue them an electronic certificate.
Customers who don’t even have accounts with EchoSign can electronically
sign documents and contracts created by EchoSign customers.
The US and Canadian governments consider what EchoSign does as sufficient to be
legally binding for contracts, equivalent to fountain pen signatures.
Though EchoSign does not use the mathematical wizardry of public/private key
cryptography certificates, it does a number of things to help verify that a
document was indeed signed by whom it was claimed to be and there is no tampering.
In an electronic signature workflow, the signers (and sender) are never
given full control over the document after it is uploaded.
There are log in authentications (must key a password) for all
the sender has an option for adding a security password to the signing
process that they would then communicate out of band. I.e. you telephone the
person about to sign the document, and tell them a password. A forger would not
know this password.
Electronic signatures have at least some auditable information such as the
authentication to the email address the document is sent to as well as the
IP (Internet Protocol) used to
alter (sign) the document.
EchoSign supposed biometric signatures where the
signer must draw their signature with a pointer device (e.g. mouse).
Over time, services like Facebook, Spoke, LinkedIn and such validate
identity and cross link and could potentially be used to help validate. These
are not currently used.
EchoSign is more secure than FAX (Facsimile).
It is pretty easy to forge a FAX
signature since the quality is so poor and it is so easy to force the source.
EchoSign supports FAX,
sign and FAX
back with some additional controls.
EchoSign is 00% wind powered.
Disadvantages Of EchoSign
The original is held in EchoSign servers and inaccessible for alteration to all
parties. The signers can access their EchoSign accounts at any time to access the
authoritative original on the EchoSign server. With digital signature systems,
documents can be passed around freely. They don’t have to be centrally housed
on a secure server. With digital signature systems, all copies are protected from
tampering, not just those in a secure central server.
EchoSign does not validate the identity of anyone, (e.g, make them present
passports, birth certificates, photo ID, business licenses, letters from doctors or
lawyers etc.). It just collects images of their signature drawn with a mouse or
FAX ed, and emails
documents to people.
If you suspected a forgery, I would think it would be easier to prove your case
with a fountain pen signature than with an electronic signature. The judge, you and
your lawyer probably would not be able to understand the arguments for it being a
All parties must have online Internet access. With digital signature systems,
documents can be created and verified on secure LANs (Local Area Networks)
without Internet access.
The EchoSign support people have been unusually helpful in answering my questions