An electronic signature, defined by the Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), is “a signature that consists of one or more letters, characters, numbers or other symbols in digital form incorporated in, attached to or associated with an electronic document”. An electronic signature, defined by the United States Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN), is “an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record”.

PIPEDA defines a secure electronic signature as an electronic signature with the following properties:

  1. is unique to the person making the signature
  2. the technology or process used to make the signature is under the sole control of the person making the signature

  3. the technology or process can be used to identify the person using the technology or process

  4. the electronic signature can be linked with an electronic document in such a way that it can be used to determine whether the electronic document has been changed since the electronic signature was incorporated in, attached to or associated with the electronic document

A digital signature is a type of electronic signature. From Wikipedia, "a digital signature is a mathematical scheme for demonstrating the authenticity of digital messages or documents. A valid digital signature gives a recipient reason to believe that the message was created by a known sender, that the sender cannot deny having sent the message, and that the message was not altered in transit". Digital signatures use public key cryptography to accomplish authentication and encryption. 

Depending on the setup used to collect an electronic signature, Lighthouse’s electronic signature would be classified as either an electronic signature or a secure electronic signature. Lighthouse does not use any public key cryptography and thereby should not be considered a digital signature

Use of electronic signatures is increasing due to the efficiency provided by technology and can be considered legally binding when collected using a process such as the one described below. 

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