[Solved] What systems are in place for your electronic signature field to hold up as evidence in a dispute?

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We are currently using DocuSign for a background check authorization form, but would like to move over to SurveyGizmo.  Can you tell me what systems you have in place to achieve the following?

The Legality of Electronic Signatures:

 

Contracts signed using enterprise-level electronic signature processes like DocuSign are completely secure and deliver a rigorous audit trail of who signed and when. This court admissible audit trail includes the core elements required to successfully enforce and defend a contract.

Beyond ESIGN – Best Practices

Compliance with the e-signature laws is a very basic step in selecting a system for electronic signature transactions. Like their paper counterparts, electronically signed documents can become the subject of a dispute.

In the event of a dispute regarding an electronically executed contract, merely complying with ESIGN is not enough. The signature process must provide enough proof to uphold the transaction.

A comprehensive approach includes:

  • Audit trail tracks all signer actions
  • Unique Signatures created by each user, accessible only to that user, and stored securely online
  • User Authentication leveraging email, access code, and/ or third party ID check
  • Time-Stamping of every step in the document process
  • Transaction Summary provides complete document history

Intent to Sign

A key convention in the paper world, precise signature placement is important criteria in establishing the signer’s intent. Similar considerations should be made when adopting an electronic signature process.

Record Retention

Few organizations find the requirements for record retention under UETA and ESIGN strict enough in comparison to their standards for mitigating risk. Most notably, the storage systems associated with any electronic signature system must be rigorously secure from a physical and technological standpoint.

Admissibility into Evidence

The Federal Rules of Evidence and the Uniform Rules of Evidence generally allow for electronic records and their reproductions to be admissible into evidence. This applies to electronic signatures stored in a computer or server, so that any printout or output readable by sight, shown to reflect the data accurately, is considered an original. In the case of an electronic signature, then, it is important to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the courts that:

  1. the appropriate level and amount of information surrounding the signing process was retained, and
  2. the system used to retain the information is itself reliable.
Becca Polglase94856 asked

    Best answer

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    Hi Becca!

    While I do believe that our software and Signature question type meets the criteria in the list you have included, I am sorry to tell you that SurveyGizmo does not provide representations and warranties around compliance to specific statutes or regimes for the Signature question type.

    Here are some more details regarding the criteria you listed:

    Intent to Sign

    Questions may be placed wherever you desire, as the user of SurveyGizmo. Therefore, you have complete control over the placement of the Signature question to allow you to establish clear intent.

    Record Retention

    SurveyGizmo datacenters are rigorously protected from physical and technological standpoints, which you may read more about in our Security FAQ:

    http://help.surveygizmo.com/help/article/link/surveygizmo-security-faq

    SurveyGizmo also allows for custom access limitation for multi-user Enterprise accounts, allowing you to ensure that only authorized users on your account have access to signature data.

    http://help.surveygizmo.com/help/article/link/teams

    Admissibility into Evidence

    1. Data collected in Response Details can include system information, including survey submitted details (time/date), IP address, language, user agent (computer/OS, browser), HTTP referrer, edit link for surveys, response location, and page path data (for further details see http://surveygizmov4.helpgizmo.com/help/article/link/viewing-responses).

    2. Please see the Business Continuity Management section of our Security FAQ for more details on the reliability of our service and datacenters:

    http://help.surveygizmo.com/help/article/link/surveygizmo-security-faq#business-continuity-management

    I hope this helps to answer your question!

    Nathan - Survey Astronaut answered
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