Documents can be signed using electronic signatures. Key factor here is authentication of both parties, signing the document.

Companies, such as Adobe Sign, offer knowledge-based, social and phone verification of ID and lastly using digital certificate.

Knowledge-based authentication is only possible in US and therefore useless in international business. Having a digital certificate seems unlikely in the small business owners and is "killing" business. Therefore, social and phone verification seem to be the fastest and most business friendly option.

Does social and phone verification stand a chance at the court of law?

I can see many potential exploits. In the case of phone verification, signer of the document may buy a fake SIM card and try to prove that he/she didn't agree to the the terms of contract, because the phone number does not belong to him. In the case of social verification -> the signer of the document may create a fake social account. So does these two authentication offer any reliability? Can they successfully be used on the court?

To put things into practical terms. 2 parties who never met and do not know each other want to make a copyright licence agreement. Client sends the contract to the copyright owner, who signs it using social or phone authentication. Is such a contract of any value? What can be done if the copyright owner fakes its social or phone ID and later files a copyright lawsuit?

  • Why ask basically the same question three times already?
    – A.fm.
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 16:25
  • Every question is continuation of the previous. And I think more is coming :)
    – sanjihan
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 20:05

1 Answer 1


See my answer to the related question ‘How can one prove that a contract was signed by force?’ The short answer is yes, subject to any jurisdiction-specific laws that require particular contracts to be executed in a particular form. A person relying on a contract in court bears the burden of proving its existence on the balance of probabilities. While one can never rule out the possibility of a sophisticated fraud, often the circumstances surrounding a contract will make it inherently plausible or implausible that the contract is genuine. Further, a person who gives false evidence about the existence or non-existence of a contract risks a conviction for perjury, fraud or forgery. For these reasons, contractual disputes are usually about the meaning and effect, rather than the existence, of a contract.

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