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Digital signature feasibility study
  • Published Date:
    2008-06-01
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-428.81 KB]


Details:
  • Publication/ Report Number:
    FHWA-AZ-08-534 ; Final Report 534 ;
  • Resource Type:
  • TRIS Online Accession Number:
    1112781
  • Format:
  • Abstract:
    The purpose of this study was to assess the advantages and disadvantages of using digital signatures to assist the Arizona Department of Transportation in conducting business. The Department is evaluating the potential of performing more electronic transactions (e.g., electronic bidding, procurement, Motor Vehicle transactions, etc.). Many of the Department's candidate transactions require one or more ink signatures before they can be processed. The basic challenge is that without a means to provide verifiable and binding electronic signatures, many transactions become Internet ineligible and cannot become part of the Department's e-service portfolio. E-Government relies on secure communication between two or more trusting parties. Digital signatures may provide the missing component that would allow certain transactions to be performed electronically. A great deal of information was found addressing digital signature technology and a number of case studies were used by the researchers. In addition, the researchers conducted a review of Arizona and Federal statutes to assess the legal requirements pertaining to the veracity of digital and electronic signatures. A survey of other states' transportation departments was completed to determine what digital signature technologies are being used. 36 states responded to the survey. Most states have either implemented a form of digital signature technology or are in the process of doing so. Most have chosen to leverage the capabilities of third-party software providers and not internal development by their staff. Finally, the researchers leveraged case studies and interviews with a leading digital certificate/PKI vendor to establish a basic cost profile for developing an internal solution and leveraging a third-party solution. The three year cost of a third party solution was significantly less than building a solution internally. Based on the available sources, the researchers concluded that a well documented, third party electronic approval workflow application (e.g., AZDOT's use of Adobe's LiveCycle product) or a similar electronic approval workflow engine, provides the necessary structure to make virtually all internal processes and transactions compliant with Federal and State digital signature guidelines. It is important to note that a robust electronic approval process does not necessarily require the use of formal digital signature technology (e.g., Public/Private key digital certificates).

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