Knowing the Definition of Online Signature (e-Signature) and its Functions


The technological digitalization in the modern times has made many of our daily activities easier than ever before especially during a pandemic, since almost everything is done with digital devices. If you have heard of digital contracts or electronic contracts before, then you surely are familiar with the term e-signature or digital signature. Much like signatures on paper in general, online signatures also have the same function, namely to prove the authenticity of identity of persons within the document and maintain the integrity of a document or letter.

What is a digital signature or an e-signature?

Online signature or e-signature is a signature made in electronic form that is used to prove the authenticity and validity of the signature maker’s identity, personal documents, and so on. Things such as letters, documents or electronic messages that include online signatures can provide information whether the message really comes from the real sender or not. In other words, the message signed with a online signature is guaranteed to be authentic both in the identity and correctness of the contents of the message or the document. As the name implies, online signatures are commonly used for digital transactions made and carried out with electronic media, namely computers or cell phones, the internet and other electronic devices.

Types of Online signature

Based on the methods of manufacture and the technology used, there are several types of online signatures that you need to know, such as:

  • Simple

This signature is very simple and easy to do. The most common example means that you only need to sign on paper as usual and then scan it with an electronic device to include the signature in the document. However, this type of signature is not encrypted, so it cannot show the identity of the person who provided the signature. Moreover, this method is very easy to forge and duplicate, so this type of signature has no legal force.

  • Basic

This type of signature is not that different from the previous type of signature. It’s just that the advantage of this type of signature is that the signed document can be seen and tracked for changes. However, this type of signature also cannot guarantee original identity of the signer much like the previous signature type, because this type of service provider does not perform identity verification optimally, so it does not have any meaningful legal protection.

  • Advanced & Qualified

In contrast to simple and basic online signatures, advanced & qualified signatures are made using asymmetric cryptography methods and public key infrastructure. Furthermore, this type also implements an optimal user verification and authentication process, so that this Advanced & Qualified signature has strong and valid legal protection, just like a conventional wet signature. In addition, all changes and conditions when the signature occurs can also be monitored immediately by this type of signature.

Legal Basis of Online signature in Indonesia

To ensure the protection of the Indonesian people when conducting transactions or making electronic agreements, the government has made various regulations governing the use of online signatures. One of the rules that become the main reference of the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Informatics (KOMINFO) is Law Number 11 of 2008 Article 11 paragraph 1 concerning Information and Electronic Transactions (ITE Law). This law states that electronic signatures have legal force and consequences as long as they fulfill 6 certain conditions, namely:

  1. The Electronic Signature creation data is related only to the Signatories;
  2. The Electronic Signature creation data at the time of the electronic signing process is only in the power of the Signatories;
  3. Any changes to the Electronic Signature that occur after the signing time can be identified;
  4. Any changes to the Electronic Information related to the Electronic Signature after the time of signing can be identified;
  5. There are certain methods used to identify who the Signatories are; and
  6. There are certain ways to show that the Signatories have given their consent to the related Electronic Information.

Advantages of using digital signature

Apart from the practicality aspect, online signatures certainly have other advantages that make them increasingly popular these days. The following are some of the advantages of online signatures that are important for you to know:

  • The integrity of the data is guaranteed to be authentic and does not change during the transmission phase.
  • Confidentiality of documents or messages is safely maintained from parties who are not entitled to read or open them.
  • Authentic because the signature process is done through the verification of the identity of the interacting parties or the parties involved only.
  • No potential of denial, which means that this online signature can also prevent the identity of the correspondent from being denied in the message. If the sender’s data and identity have been verified, the sender cannot deny the signed document.

Choosing a Legitimate Online Signature Service in Indonesia

In order for the transaction to run well and the digital signature to be considered valid, of course it must meet the requirements and the signer’s identity being guaranteed as well to prevent fraud and manipulation. There is a special institution to issue digital certificates, namely the Certification Authority (CA). This agency functions to verify and track existing online signatures. In Indonesia, the certification of online signature service providers is regulated by the KOMINFO. Online signature service providers who have met the requirements of KOMINFO’s advanced and qualified signature standards will receive a valid Electronic Signature Operator certification.




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