In legal and accounting, the electronic signature is the electronic equivalent of the handwritten signature through which a person accepts the content of an electronic message, either by checking a box on a computer, using a username and password, a digital signature or signing with an electronic pen. Electronic signatures are formed with a complex mathematical algorithm that ensures the identity of the signer and the integrity of the message content.
Depending on the country in which we are, we can differentiate various types of electronic signature. For example, in Spain, according to Law 59/2003, we contemplate three varieties of signature:
- Electronic signature: it is the set of data in electronic form that is used as a means of identifying the signer.
- Advanced electronic signature: it allows the signer to be identified and to detect any subsequent changes to the signed data.
- Recognized electronic signature: it is based on a recognized certificate and generated through a secure and reliable signature creation device.