ESIGNATURES POSE RISK OF IDENTITY THEFT

ESIGNATURES POSE RISK OF IDENTITY THEFT

BUSINESSES should be aware of fraud and identity theft as digital business transactions increase, according to Brisbane estate litigation lawyer Charlie Young.


As statute moves away from the requirement of a handwritten signature, and begins to accept electronic signatures, businesses may be at risk.


Young says that laws recognizing electronic transactions are open to exploitation across a vast range of systems where people aren’t required to provide physical proof of identity.


“An enormous range of services are available online where you can [conduct many activities] without ever having to physically turn up somewhere to provide a physical signature or otherwise prove you are who you claim to be,” says Young.


Whilst the simplicity of an eSignature is desirable for speed and efficiency there are a variety of risks associated with their legality, including the possibilities for identity theft in land transactions.


“People can now even deal with interests in land to a certain degree using an electronic signature,” says Young.


“With the rise of identity theft, there is the spectre of someone stealing another’s identity then posing as them to perform transactions such as transferring property or dealing with their land using an electronic signature.”


To circumvent fraud, Young says that legislation should specify more secure methods that may be used to identify transactors.

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