Electronic signature and digital signature: Synonyms or different concepts?

Today, I would like to share this post of my colleague, the REALSEC’s CEO, about the differences between electronic signature and digital signature.
I’m sure it will be very interesting for you.

Electronic signature and digital signature: Synonyms or different concepts?

We often hear people speak indiscriminately about the digital signature and the electronic signature, however, is it the same? This question must be answered with a clear “no”.
These 2 concepts do not have the same meaning and it is important to distinguish the differences between them, as well as to clearly know the meaning of a third concept in discord, the digitized signature, which sometimes is also mistakenly used as a synonym of the  two aforementioned.
Electronic Signature is a generic expression, associated with electronic data, but without the legal and juridical validity that provides the digital signature as an instrument of identification and authentication (for example, the creation of a PDF signed by its author could be a case of electronic signature, since it identifies the author but has no legal validity or authentication security).
In contrast, if this document is accompanied by a certified electronic signature and supported by public key-based cryptography, (PKI – Public Key Infrastructure) thus fulfilling the advanced electronic signature regulations, then we will be referring to Digital Signature, which thereby allows us the authentication and identification and will provide legal validity to the process and therefore prevent the impersonation of our digital identity.
Finally, it should be noted that the digitized signature is simply the signature that once written manually on a piece of paper, it is then scanned and pasted into a document without more science or verification.
At present, for trust and security purposes, the signature which prevails and the one which more guarantees offers is the digital signature, and it is the one used by Public Administrations, both in their own management and in other operations, such as in the case of the Spanish Tax Agency.
In addition, there are more companies that apply the digital signature, not only in their  management with institutions, but also in many of their internal procedures, such as in the signing itself  and in the encryption of e-mails.
Moreover, other initiatives of the digital agenda, such as the electronic ID, promote the use of this type of signature, allowing the verification of the identity of the citizen before the Administration.
However, in most cases, the confusion of the different concepts of Signature are derived from differences which, in different countries, the legislator makes in relation to the definition of Digital Signature and Electronic Signature.
This topic will be dealt in this post

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