One of the most controversial issues facing Notaries today revolves around webcam notarizations. When webcam notarizations popped up more than five years ago there were objections nationwide. But now the technology has evolved, more states are testing the water, and some believe it represents how Notaries will operate in the 21st century. Webcam Notarization Panel A panel of leading industry and Notary experts met at NNA 2016 Conference to discuss whether allowing a signer to appear via webcam is as secure as a traditional notarization during which the signer appears in the physical presence of the Notary. Currently, only Virginia and Montana authorize webcam notarizations under specifically defined circumstances. But it is being considered by various states and organizations. “The idea of a physical presence makes no sense in a global economy,” said panelist Timothy Reiniger, Director of the Digital Services Group of Virginia-based FutureLaw. “There has to be a way to keep the Notary involved in internet commerce, which we all desperately need.” Reiniger, who co-authored Virginia’s 2011 webcam notarization bill, argued that webcam notarizations are as secure as traditional notarizations. Questioning The Security Of Webcam Notarizations Co-panelist Ozie Stallworth, Electronic Notarization Analyst and Director for the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office, challenged the security of webcam notarizations. Companies offering webcam notarizations use a method known as knowledge-based authentication (KBA) to verify signers’ identities. This method asks individuals a series of questions about their personal backgrounds based on information culled from various credit bureau databases. Over the last few years, there have been many data breaches of sources used by KBA systems, Stallworth said. “How is that as good as the traditional methods of Identifying signers?” Read More About NNA 2016 Protecting Borrowers’ Privacy ‘Not An Option’ For Signing Agents Using Facial Recognition Techniques To Spot Impostors The Growing Movement To Raise Notary Fees 2016 Notary Of The Year Elissa Davey ‘Greatest Generation’ Vets Tell Their WWII Stories At NNA 2016 Pem Guerry, Executive Vice President of SIGNiX, noted that his company has been using KBA for various electronic transactions for 14 years and has only experienced one instance where a fraudster fooled the system. In that case, the electronic audit trail for the transaction allowed authorities to track and prosecute the individual. Reiniger and Guerry argued that the safeguards of webcam notarizations were stronger than for traditional notarizations. Both Montana and Virginia, for example, require the Notary to keep a video record of each remote notarization. The video record is strong evidence of what took place during the notarization and also is a deterrent to camera-shy criminals. Related Articles Webcam Notarizations: Redefining Personal Presence Or Opening The Door To Fraud? Webcam Notarization Endorsed By Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Quicken Loans, ULC A Webcam Notary Explains The Business Additional Resources: Companies Offering Webcam Notarization eSignatures, eNotarization, Webcam Notarization And iClose: What’s The Difference?