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I sign my name constantly: when I make credit card purchases, when I write checks, when I agree to contracts or leases, when I file my taxes, when I check in to hotels, when I receive packages.
Very few transactions actually require physical, handwritten signatures anymore besides the sale of land and real estate, Mann said. The physical signature seems to be an increasingly worthless tool for authenticating peoplea€™s identities.
Digital signatures would seem to be the clear candidate for replacement, but the name is slightly misleading in suggesting how easy that transition should be. The foretold transition to relying on digital signatures was plagued by the challenges of trying to define what, exactly, constituted a signature—and when people recognized what they were doing was a form of signing. This confusion about what digital signatures mean seems like something we should be able to work out—and if we could just get over that hump, the rewards could be considerable.
There are some possible replacements on the horizon, at least when it comes to authorizing credit card purchases. Digital signatures have been hugely important for securing the web, and many of the sites you visit are cryptographically signed to verify they actually are the site they claim to be (I hope!). It’s easy to muddle talk of digital signatures with physical signatures and lose sight of the fact that they are, in many ways, profoundly different things. This article is part of Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, New America, and Slate. Josephine Wolff is an assistant professor of public policy and computing security at Rochester Institute of Technology and a faculty associate at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

We'll hook you up with exclusive insider information andsneak previews on what's new at our stores. Admittedly, some of these signatures involve trying to use my index finger or an unwieldy plastic stylus to produce a signature on a screen, rather than the traditional pen and paper, but the fundamental process of producing my name by hand, in writing, is essentially the same.
They are not just the strict equivalent of physical signatures for the computing age—not the italicized cursive fonts that your name is rendered in when you sign some online contracts, for instance (a strange artifact of trying to make sense of signatures, especially since my own handwriting has never resembled Lucida Handwriting).
Not only do they eliminate all the misery of printing and scanning, but digital signatures are vastly superior to physical ones. Chip-and-PIN technologies that ask people to input a personal identification number instead of a signature to complete their purchase have been slow to reach the United States but are already in use in much of Europe and Australia. But when it comes to issuing and using digital signatures for individuals, rather than websites, things have moved much more slowly.
She noted that someone with a little artistic skill could get a hold of my card and duplicate my signature for nefarious purposes.
But as for the end of the signature—well, we still seem to be an awfully long way from that.
You have probably, at some point in the not-too-distant past, found yourself scrambling to find a printer and scanner to return some important paperwork—and you have probably found yourself crying out to the computer gods, Isn’t there a better way? A digital signature involves encrypting data in a way that could have been done only by you or someone holding your private encryption key.
For a lot of the more vestigial, legally meaningless physical signatures that linger on in modern life, substituting a digital signature is probably unnecessary.

Perhaps even less about our own, scribbling it mindlessly day after day even though it confers no real authority to approve purchases or agreements, even though no one cares what it looks like, or whether it matches the signature on the back of your credit card, or whether it’s really you.
Admittedly, it takes just seconds to sign your name so the loss of time isn’t a huge concern.
If you receive, say, an email message with the sender’s verified digital signature, then you know it must have been sent by that person (or by someone who has stolen their encryption key). In fact, the physical signature seems to be an increasingly worthless tool for authenticating people’s identities as we do more and more signing with fingers, and screens, and end up bearing little resemblance to our pen-and-paper signatures.
We could just resort to typing our names (in one of those handwriting fonts, if you insist) or doing away with them altogether. Technology has given us so much and yet, in this seemingly simple domain, it seems to have made life harder rather than easier by turning the straightforward process of writing down your name into a three-step, multiple-technology ordeal of printing, signing, and scanning (to say nothing of shredding, if you’re dealing with a sensitive form or contract).
That signature is specific to the message it accompanies and cannot be easily copied, or attached, to another message.
This makes it much harder to effectively forge emails from people who digitally sign their emails, not that there are many.

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04.12.2015 admin

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