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With respect, I submit that all too often, the better is the enemy of the good.
We should not require absolute perfection as a precondition for
using technology. We don't have perfection anywhere else, notoriously so
in the case of written signatures, so why should this area be an exception?
That doesn't mean that we should be sloppy in the creation and use of the
technology, nor does it mean tthat we should be either draconian or laissez faire
in our approach to the law.
It means that we should be willing to take some modest risks in the
expectation of modest gains. I don't expect digital sigantures to completely
revolutionize electronic commerce (what ever THAT is), and certainly not
But as an example of what people are willing to put up with, last weekend I took
my wife to the Snowbird ski resort, just to walk around and ride the tram to the top.
I happened to look at the fine print on the tram ticket, which clearly states that
anyone who uses the ticket, no mattter how acquired (i.e., even if you stole it, and
hence they had no contractual relationship to you), you agree to waive any and
all claims for personal injury, DEATH, or property damage, EVEN IF SUSTAINED
THROUGH THE NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER FAULT OF SNOWBIRD!!!
Good luck trying to enforce that, says I. I'd love to see what kind of a CPS they would
>Bob Jueneman wrote:
>| There are really three separate issues here:
>| 1. Under what circumstances should a digital signature be rebuttably
>| presumed to be valid?
> When the software used to produce it comes with a warranty.
> I believe Carl's point to be that grandma can not be relied on
>to understand the technology. I've been mulling this, and am not sure
>that it matters. (My thought experiment has been, should we hold Bob
>to a higher standard of proof because he clearly understands the
>issues? The answer I arrive at is that we should not, in part because
>even Bob is unlikely to be able to ensure that his understanding of
>what the software is doing is reflective of reality. By ensure, I
>mean be roughly as confident in his answer about his digital signature
>software as he is about his physical checkbook.)
>"It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once."