A proposed California law contains the following definition:

(i) “Electronic signature” means an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with an electronic record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the electronic record.

Suppose a person chooses to use an RSA signature to electronically sign a document. Which of the following does the above definition include

  • The signed hash of the document being signed
  • The public key of the signer
  • The private key of the signer?

Later on the law states

8231.15. (a) An online notarization platform shall not have access to an online notary public’s electronic signature or electronic seal.

If the electronic signature consists of the signed hash in the absence of the private key, it seems like the online notarization platform would not be allowed to have access to the signed document, which would make it rather difficult to provide that document to the person who wants the document notarized.

I've seen this definition for an electronic signature many places. Is there any generally agreed upon precise meaning?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is there anything better than NIST definitions in US?. It is proposed law mean that will need many changes, right? $\endgroup$
    – kelalaka
    Jan 4 at 18:34
  • $\begingroup$ Proposed laws often go through extensive changes, yes. $\endgroup$ Jan 4 at 19:03
  • $\begingroup$ NIST summarizes several sources, the consensus seems to be the digital signature is the result of applying the digital signature process, which does not seem compatible with the proposed law. $\endgroup$ Jan 4 at 19:05
  • $\begingroup$ I think they cover more than the NIST definition and they need for this, for example signing with a digitizer ( this is common on banking and RMV's) or a sound record, etc. So the answer to your question is not here, unfortunately. The 8231.15. (a), however, more about LAW again.. $\endgroup$
    – kelalaka
    Jan 4 at 19:30
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ "Electronic signature" tends to mean something like DocuSign, where you draw a rough approximation of your physical signature using a mouse, and it attaches the image to the document. "Digital signature" is a cryptographic attestation that a document's contents are unchanged from when the holder of the corresponding private key signed them. The law seems to be more about the former than the later. $\endgroup$ Jan 4 at 19:32

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