Electronic signature – digital signature, E-signature – digital signing
Honestly: Did you already stop thinking at the headline? Not entirely without reason, these terms are usually used synonymously.
While e-signature and digital signing are undefined terms of a rather promotional nature, electronic and digital signature mean two different approaches. Strictly speaking, the two concepts must be distinguished -not all electronic signatures are necessarily digital signatures.
“Electronic signature” is a legal term defined in the eIDAS Regulation as follows: “[..]data in electronic form which is attached to or logically associated with other data in electronic form and which is used by the signatory to sign;.” (Art 3 eIDAS Regulation)
A digital signature, on the other hand, refers to a mathematical and cryptographic process used (not only, but also) to produce electronic signatures. The definition in ETSI TR 119 100 reads:
“Data appended to, or a cryptographic transformation of, a data unit that allows a recipient of the data unit to prove the source and integrity of the data unit”.
Unit to prove the source and integrity of the data unit and protect against forgery e.g. by the recipient”.