With the emergence of information and communication technologies, Internet has become a crucial part of the digital relations which allowed individuals to make contact with each other without any physical interaction. Under these circumstances, the nature of the transactions had changed and transferred into the electronic world which gave rise to new business methods like e-commerce and other Internet services.
In the physical world, majority of the transactions does not require a proper identification process of the parties. When the need arises, identity and any alteration made in the document can be ensured through manuscript signatures, stamp or seal. However, when it comes to the Internet based transactions, it is more likely to desire to find the answer of who you are really dealing with which makes crucial to identify the counterpart. In this respect, as manuscript signatures are not suitable with the digital world, electronic signatures and relevant technologies which we call digital signatures had been developed for electronic documents. Both national and international legislations came into force to create an equivalent legal effect with the traditional signature. Notwithstanding, a great deal of issues occur in the context of identification function of the electronic signatures.
This paper will explore the importance of online identification and the underlying reasons of why online identification is more important than electronic signatures. This essay consists of three sections. The first part of the paper will examine the definition of online identification in the digital context and the purpose of the electronic signature along with the legal effect. Secondly, it will discuss the importance of the online identification in terms of providing security in the commercial transactions associated with electronic signatures. Last part will present the attribution of liability and allocation of risk as a result of electronic signature use.