PSC World – The use of Electronic Signature in MéxicoBy csc |
By Leonel Arroyo Conde, Deputy General Manager, PSC World SA de CV
In Mexico, and many parts of Latin America, the use of electronic signature services is entirely valid for electronic documents, producing the same effects as the handwritten signature, as long as the electronic signature meets various factors that could be considered necessary for evidentiary purposes.
In the event of litigation, it will be required to prove that the signatures on the documents and their content are entirely valid and legal. This mechanism ensures the correct and complete acceptance of the will to sign the document.
For example, electronic evidence of a simple electronic signature or digital signature in a data message and/or signed document allows it to be presented in court in its original form. This is supported, if necessary, by an expert report, as is customary in the traditional application of the considerations for a handwritten signature in procedural regulations, but with the significant advantage of various legal presumptions established in substantive legislation.
For a data message and/or signed document to be considered legally valid, it is necessary to ensure that the contained information meets the following characteristics:
Understood in two aspects: Firstly, regarding the method’s reliability in generating, communicating, receiving, and storing it. Secondly, it ensures that the information contained has not been altered.
This is the way to guarantee that the parties involved in the legal relationship are really who they claim to be and express their will without defects.
This attribution to the parties involved in the legal relationship that is intended to be formalized in a data message is nothing more than a “SIGNATURE” that can be created either with an electronic autograph on an electronic device, using means of identification, or through an “Information System” programmed by the sender or on their behalf, which operates automatically (such as an electronic signature platform complying with the Electronic Signature Law and the Commercial Code for the generation of electronic signatures).
This refers to the content of a signed data message being available to the user (sender, receiver, judge, auditor, authorities, etc.) for future reference if it meets the abovementioned characteristics.
It is important to emphasize that the physical medium through which the content of a data message is made available to the user may be different from that on which it was created since the integrity of the data message, not the physical medium, must be guaranteed that it contains it.
In principle, a data message and/or a document signed with a digital signature should be understood as a means of documentary evidence with specific evaluation requirements, as established in procedural regulations.
In summary, a simple or digital electronic signature constitutes a valid way to express the consent of the signatories and formalize electronically executed documents. In the case of an advanced electronic signature, the validation of the consent of the signatories is granted from the moment of its creation due to its non-repudiation.
Digital evidence generated by a PSC accredited by the Ministry of Economy in Mexico
To generate more evidence in the signing of documents, there is the possibility of applying a Data Message Preservation Certificate generated in accordance with NOM-151-SCFI-2016 and a Digital Time Stamp (international standard RFC-3161), supported by the provisions of the Commercial Code. These are auxiliary services for the generation of evidence provided by a Certification Service Provider Accredited by the Ministry of Economy, such as PSC World S.A. de C.V., which has the specific purpose of:
- Data Message Preservation Certificate generated in accordance with NOM-151-SCFI-2016:
- Ensure that an electronic document has remained intact and unaltered since it was first created in its final form.
- Provide legal certainty and integrity for a data message to be used as evidence, ensuring it has not been modified and/or altered.
- Digital Time Stamping
- Serve as evidence that a piece of data existed before a particular time.
- Enable traceability of specific data transactions.
With these services, documents can achieve:
- Greater legal certainty in transactions by having data messages that are completely intact and unaltered and by specifying the exact moment when the action takes place.
- Increased efficiency in signing processes.