Answer from Richard: What is or is not a "signature" is based on the signature's purpose. Primarily, this is a matter of your state law relating to contracts, and is best determined by legal counsel.
Answer from Andy: Legal definitions aside, there is less difference between a "digitized" signature and a "facsimile" signature than either of these and a "digital" signature under E-SIGN. A digitized and facsimile are essentially the same based on my read, except that a digitized is purely electronic and a facsimile is a signature that can be saved electronically or by engraving, imprinting or stamping. Conversely the term “electronic signature” means an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.
The term "digital signature" refers only to a particular type of technology or method, which may or may not result in a legally effective electronic signature, as Richard noted. These are opposed to what used to be commonly referred to as a digital signature which used a private key and a public key for encryption, decryption and authentication of an email or document.
First published on BankersOnline.com 4/1/13