The question of proving the authenticity of a document in analogue or digital (generically ‘electronic’) format is of great concern to information and records managers. This stems from core professional principles regarding the integrity of recorded information and techniques developed over time to be able to prove the authenticity of a record that is recorded on a tangible physical carrier, most likely to be paper. As a result, there has been a concern with the quality of the paper, together with procedures such as copying facsimile messages to bond paper, because the text printed on some types of paper used in facsimile transmissions tend to fade. Part of this effort is directed towards the objective of having an acceptable and authentic record that is admissible in a court. The same issues are of concern today, except the concerns of documents in electronic format include a mixture of the tangible and intangible.
Stephen Mason, Barrister