Digital documents replace paper documents. Digital signatures are necessary for authenticity and tamper-resistance of digital documents.
In recent years, the Covid-19 pandemic has made working from home more commonplace and with the shift to online and cloud computing systems taking root, an increase in the number of documents such as contracts, agreements, invoices, and application forms are being exchanged in PDF format.
With these changes, there has been an increase in the use of digital signatures to sign agreements with digital documents. At Kens Estate, the use of digital signatures for contracts has increased dramatically over the past two years.
While paper documents use handwritten signatures (and in Japan, stamps) to certify that the contents of the document have been acknowledged, in the case of digital documents, digital signatures guarantee their legitimacy. In addition, the entire document can be encrypted to prevent unauthorized tampering of the contents. The legal effect of a digital signature is that it does not become invalid over time. The relevant systems for electronic signatures vary from country to country, but in fact, most countries share the same basic principles.
Digital signatures can be performed anywhere in the world, regardless of location or time. They have many advantages, such as eliminating the use of paper, printing, and postage costs, and also reducing the need for storage space. In addition, electronic contracts are becoming a global standard, and with the increasing number of electronic contract systems that support multiple languages, it is expected to become a digital tool that will further permeate our daily lives in the future.