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Who is signing your documents, humans or emails?

Let me set the context for this article. We all used to sign documents for availing services, e.g., getting a passport, opening an account, or mortgage application. As the world transitions to paperless transactions, we need an equivalent of our ink signature, where e-signature and digital signature comes into the picture. An e-signature is a digital replica of your ink signature bound to your digital identity (like email).

Digital signatures are based on public key infrastructure (PKI), where a certificate with credentials is issued by a certifying authority (CA) which acts as the root of trust.

A qualified digital certificate is issued through a KYC process. It appears simple in the diagram, but you can appreciate what I am talking about if you have first-hand experience getting one and using it.

Undoubtedly, a digital signature solves many problems in the digital world, and the most important of them is trust. However, it is not a perfect solution for all the use cases.

1. The KYC process is not sweet as it sounds.

2. A hardware token is used to secure the certificate

3. It costs money and has a limited shelf life.

4. All parties need to have digital signatures to be effective

5. Compatibility of various formats and algorithms

6. Users must deal with a plethora of terminology to correctly configure it.

We want to present an alternative approach to signing the document. The Digital Signing process, as depicted below, establishes two fundamental aspects. We wish to achieve all these using an alternative method.

  1. Signer is in possession of the private key

  2. Document is not altered or spoofed

We propose a solution where your face and liveness become your certificate. OkularID is a digital ID bound to a person’s email address and face/liveness. OkularID issues a micro certificate for each signature which can be verified by anyone with access to the camera phone. A certificate is issued only after the liveness of the signer is confirmed.

Each signed document is supported by a valid receipt which contains the following information to validate the signed document.

1. Document the owner’s details

2. Document details

3. Signer details

This receipt is a consolidated summary of the signed document and contains a hash of the final signed document with micro-sign certificates. This hash is easily verifiable using online tools. The receipt is shared with all the stakeholders.

What makes Okular sign unique and different

1. Made for users

2. No additional certificate is required

3. Easily verifiable

4. Non-Repudiation

5. Identity and liveness are always guaranteed

OkularID is a unique digital identity management platform to authenticate and validate user credentials in the digital space. It is promoted by Aikaki Limited, focused on developing a user-centric digital identity wallet enabling users to share their credentials and digital assets and securely sign documents.

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