Electrons, ions and other electronic signals can be generated from an ordinary pencil eraser, inkjet printer or other electronic device.
The new law would ban electronic signatures as a way to prevent people from impersonating others online, and the governor’s office said the proposed law would take effect Dec. 1.
The proposed legislation would require any person who creates or signs a digital signature for a product or service to prove they were authorized to do so and the person must not post or transmit the signature.
The bill also requires any person with an electronic signature to give the product or services buyer the opportunity to delete it and then sign it again.
The governor’s chief legal officer, Robert Stavri, said the new law is necessary because of recent threats to public safety and security from digital signatures, which have been used to hack online services like Twitter, the Associated Press reported.
Stavris said there are no plans to take further action against electronic signatures or to take enforcement action against people who use them.
He also said the bill would not prohibit the posting of electronic signatures on websites or in other media, but said the measure would not require anyone to register online.
The Associated Press obtained the bill in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
State Sen. James Foust, D-Bergen, chairman of the legislative committee on public safety, said he was concerned about the potential for abuse of digital signatures.
He said he has concerns about the privacy issues surrounding digital signatures and said he’s encouraged by the governor and his legislative allies to enact the bill.
Foust said the law would also make it easier for authorities to track down those who have illegally used electronic signatures.
“If somebody is sending somebody a digital message, they’re sending that message to their family, friends and co-workers, and you can easily trace that back,” Foust told the AP.
The state is not the first to enact an anti-signature law.
Last year, New York Gov.
Andrew Cuomo signed a law that allows people to be fined up to $250 for violating an electronic-signatures law in New York City.
New York is one of six states that have enacted laws banning digital signatures or other forms of digital fraud.