>we hear very little about digital signatures these days.
What does he make of Identrus? Or of large scale B2G PKI like the Australian Tax Office: 70,000 small businesses digitally sign monthly tax returns.
>Perhaps if the process of using digital signatures were easier ...
It's as easy as using your Amex Blue Card.
> if your bank does not employ the same digital signature technology as your mortgage company, and your online brokerage uses something different ...
All this is entirely hypothetical.
- Few institutions have invested in PKI to the extent suggested.
- The old fashioned notion that we would wander around cyberspace with a personal digital certificate, using it for all e-business, was always a fantasy and should never have been expected to eventuate.
Instead, digital certificates are being embedded in specific applications. This neutralises the interoperability and usability fears.
The killer apps for PKI are very specific -- highly structured, highly automated transactions carrying high risk or high value (e.g. e-health, government reporting, equities trading, B2B financial trades etc). PKI is not good for one-off transactions, regardless of value or risk.
Finally, there is no real prospect of "losing the last bastion of personal security -- the handwritten signature". There is no one-size-fits-all digital signature solution, and the handwritten signature will remain de rigueur for a great many applications.
Director Policy & Strategy, beTRUSTed