Symposium: Digital Signature and Electronic Document Verification Articles

Electronic Document Certification: A Primer on the Technology Behind Digital Signatures


David L. Gripman


VOL. XVII • Spring 1999 • NO. 3 (table of contents)

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This comment will discuss the technology behind electronic document certification: digital signatures which enable parties to sign their names electronically to documents over the Internet. Part II of this comment will begin by discussing the traditional role of the notary in business transactions. Part II will also introduce encryption technology, digital signature technology, and how a CA can provide extremely reliable electronic document certification using such technologies. Part III will discuss the applications where this technology is being used today, albeit sparingly. Part III further discusses an application currently in development that will use digital signature technology in the future on a mass-market basis. In Part IV, this comment concludes that once people become familiar and comfortable with the technology as the market matures, use of digital signature technology will become more common. This in turn will provide a significant opportunity for parties to enhance the security and reliability of their traditional communications and business transactions.

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