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Don't Sign That Pad

by Dave Speck
July 2, 2003

Many businesses require you to sign electronic signature pads whenever you use a bank card. I went into a local service station that voided my hand-written check and converted it to a bank debit and required an electronic signature. Why are we allowing businesses to use our electronic signatures? By signing these devices, we are giving the businesses authorization to use our electronic signatures as they see fit. Today their policy may be to delete the data (doubtful), but tomorrow their policy will change.

Do yourself a favor and refuse to sign these electronic pads. Nobody needs your electronic signature. Look at how many business databases get broken into each day (e.g. PetCo). Chances are that criminals have most of our signatures already. Data theft from business databases is so rampant that California has passed a law that requires businesses to tell their customers whenever their personal data has been compromised. Imagine what a criminal can do with both your signature and your credit card number.

Request a hard copy signature and Don't Sign That Pad!

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