Relationship with Handwritten Signatures

Learn about the relationship of the digital signature scheme with a handwritten signature.

Earlier, we discussed the importance of resisting any temptation to consider digital signatures as a direct electronic ‘equivalent’ of handwritten signatures. Now that we have discussed digital signatures at some length, it is time to look more closely at the relationship between these two concepts.

We proceed by considering a list of relevant issues and identifying the differences. The number of differences is striking. Hopefully, this extensive comparison clarifies that handwritten signatures and digital signatures are in many ways quite different in their properties. While some electronic applications for digital signatures are analogous to physical applications of handwritten signatures, digital signatures provide more precise security properties at the cost of being more complex to implement.

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