e-signature
n. An encryption system or other secure technology that enables a person to “sign” a document electronically.

Example Citations:
E-signatures aren’t new — some companies have used them for years to save costs by improving internal workflow processes. But the e-Sign Act, which goes into effect Oct. 1, promises to make the use of E-signatures more widespread because of all the potential applications in E-commerce.
—George V. Hulme, “E-Signatures Spread To E-Commerce,” InformationWeek, July 3, 2000

Forty states, including New York, have e-signature laws on the books to allow something other than ink on paper to be considered a valid signature.
—James M. Odato, “ ‘E-signature’ law changes government,” The Times Union (Albany, NY), July 2, 2000

Earliest Citation:
Legal recognition of electronic signatures means that, if the certificate and service provider meet the security requirements, it will be assumed that the e-signature benefits from the same legal recognition as a hand-written signature.
—Campbell Clark, “The Defining Signature of E-commerce,” The Scotsman, July 29, 1998

Notes:
Also:

Name: E-Signature

Business: Electronic signatures. We take a person’s signature and convert it into a true type font which enables a person to have their signature or logo appear on their computer screen. ...Sample can be downloaded from http://www.e-signature.com.
—“Who’s new,” The Ottawa Citizen, May 10, 1997

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