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Frequently Asked Questions → Quick Answers

We've compiled a list of questions and answers to give you an overview of what Datawitness is, how it works and how it can help you reduce paperOf all the stuff we throw away in a years time, paper tops the list - it's about 1/3 of our solid waste. Of that, we recover at least 50% for recycling. About half of that is in the form of corrugated boxes and other containers. and preserve documents.

General / About Datawitness

  1. What is Datawitness?
  2. What does Datawitness do?
  3. How do I contact Datawitness?

Getting Started

  1. Where do I start? How do I get set up?
  2. Where can I find more information on your services?


  1. What is StoreIt?
  2. What is SignOff?


  1. How much does it cost to use Datawitness?


  1. Why aren’t my files uploading?
  2. Why can’t I upload a folder?
  3. What file formats can I upload?
  4. How do I get my files to you?
  5. Where are my records stored?
  6. What is Bulk Uploading?


  1. What is a recipient?
  2. Is Datawitness like email?
  3. What’s in an email notification?
  4. Why aren’t SignOff’s being delivered to recipients?
  5. What makes sending a submission via Datawitness better than sending emails?
  6. Can I use Datawitness to track responses to important communications?


  1. Where does Datawitness stand in the eyes of the law?
  2. What is the Canadian General Standards Board?
  3. What is CAN/CGSB-72.34 and why does it matter?


  1. What is document authentication?
  2. What is document archiving?
  3. What is an electronic signature?
  4. What is clickwrap?

Confidentiality / Security

  1. Is Datawitness secure?
  2. How is my confidentiality protected?
  3. What is so unique about archiving records with Datawitness?


  1. What is a Datawitness submission?
  2. How do I use a Datawitness submission?
  3. Can I include external documents with my submissions?

What is Datawitness?

Datawitness is a web-based application providing paperless authentication and archiving services you can access over the Internet from anywhere and at anytime. The application works through a combination of emails and web pages. Everything you send and receive through Datawitness is stored digitally for fast access and archived onto long-term media to provide an indisputable record of your documents and communications.

What does Datawitness do?

Datawitness authentication and archiving products and services give you several options for managing documents and communications without paper. You can archive digital documents with the added security of tangible and unalterable long-term offline archives. You can also send documents for electronic signature faster than using courier, post or fax. Sending a Datawitness submission takes about the same amount of time as sending an email.

How do I contact Datawitness?

Our contact information, email address, phone and contact form are available on the Contact Page

Where do I start? How do I get set up?

You can email to start making arrangements for a custom training session/walkthrough or go straight to the signup page to get started. We will tailor your session to include training in the Datawitness Services that fit your needs and bring immediate benefits to your office.

Where can I find more information on your services?

Check out some of our quick flash demos to see our services in action, browse through the products section, email us or just give us a call at 604-779-6780 and we’ll walk you through and answer any of your questions

What is StoreIt?

StoreIt is a web based archiving system for digital files.

What is SignOff?

SignOff is a contract signing tool.

How much does it cost to use Datawitness?

It depends on the number of submissions and number of years you’d like to archive your files for. See the pricing page for current price packages based on a standard 35 year archiving period. Contact us for bulk pricing if you’re looking to purchase more than 100 submissions or for different time periods

Why aren’t my files uploading?

Check that your files are not too large (we currently accept up to 10mb max/file). Check that you don’t have the file opened on your computer with another program. Verify your internet connection is active.

Why can’t I upload a folder?

You can upload individual files, but not folders.

What file formats can I upload?

We recommend PDF for long-term access as PDF is an ISO Standard, which ensures we can write programs to access those files in 35 years or more.

How do I get my files to you?

You can scan paper and upload the scanned images to your account. If you have a large amount of paper you wish to convert to archive then give us a call to make arrangements for help.

Where are my records stored?

Your files are stored digitally within your Datawitness account, and in a vault offsite on long-term media.

What Is Bulk Uploading?

Bulk uploading is a tool that allows you to upload up to 150 files at one time with an individual file size limit of 10MB.

What is a recipient?

A Datawitness recipient is a party to whom you wish to send a communication. You can specify multiple recipients for a single submission.

Is Datawitness like email?

No. Datawitness uses email notifications to connect submission senders and recipients to the Datawitness application. While email plays a key role in Datawitness, it is only one part of how the application works. Recipients receive an email notification that a submission needs their attention. Senders receive email notifications about submission-related activity by recipients.

What's in an email notification?

When a submission requires a response from a recipient, Datawitness sends an email notification which includes a link to our secure servers. Clicking on the link accesses the Datawitness application and opens a secure web page displaying the content of the submission and recipient response options.

Submission senders can also choose whether or not to receive email notifications when recipients act on the options they are presented with in the submission they received.

Why aren’t SignOff’s being delivered to recipients?

Some free email providers institute non-standard ways of handling the delivery of mail. Hotmail is one example. Our system sometimes gets notified by a Hotmail mail server that a message we sent was received, however Hotmail does not deliver it to the intended recipient as per their internal rules. This is a random occurrence and something that is solely in the control of The Hotmail provider. Spam filters incorrectly identifying a message sent by us as spam, and filtering it from the recipients view is another way a message can not be delivered. Please check with the intended recipient to verify that they have suitable rules for the processing of mail from the datawitness domain.

What makes sending a submission via Datawitness better than sending emails?

Every interaction with a submission, from its origin, is time and date stamped to provide an evidentiary summary of the submission's complete life cycle. The content, intent and timing of any exchange is captured electronically and archived onto long-term media by Datawitness acting as an independent 3rd party.

You get double protection in the event of dispute over business or personal matters transacted using Datawitness. Communications held by parties involved in a matter are vulnerable to accidental or intentional loss, alteration, or damage. Datawitness holds records for you and removes those risks.

Can I use Datawitness to track responses to important communications?

Yes. Datawitness has a general document or simple communication option that witnesses submissions sent to recipients and tracks their responses. This two way communication feature allows you to digitally capture responses in important matters to avoid discrepancies or disputes on those matters in the future.

Where does Datawitness stand in the eyes of the law?

Here are quotes excerpted from a legal opinion written by Allan McEachern, former Chief Justice, Supreme Court of B.C., now counsel for Fasken Martineau:

"In our opinion documents created using Datawitness technology would be readily accepted as reliable and admissible into evidence."
"As we understand the Datawitness technology, the burden of proving that archived documents are reliable copies of the originals could be readily achieved. The system is designed to produce an accurate and immutable record of electronic communications as they occur. Judges readily welcome such evidence."
"In our opinion, once the necessary proof of the Datawitness technology was given into evidence, and the other witnesses involved in the online negotiations gave evidence to prove their involvement and that the documents were relevant, the analog record of negotiations as captured by the Datawitness technology would be readily accepted in court as reliable."
What is the Canadian General Standards Board?

"The Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) is a federal government organization that offers client-centred, comprehensive standards development and conformity assessment services in support of the economic, regulatory, procurement, health, safety and environmental interests of our stakeholders - government, industry and consumers."


What is CAN/CGSB-72.34 and why does it matter?

"Electronic Records as Documentary Evidence (CAN/CGSB-72.34-2005) is a new National Standard of Canada that outlines the main requirements for ensuring that electronic records generated from electronic information systems are reliable, authentic and trustworthy."

"The standard is intended to assist both the public and private sectors in meeting one of the evidentiary requirements for acceptance of electronic records in legal proceedings."

"The standard provides in broad terms policies, procedures, practices and documentation required for establishing the integrity and authenticity of recorded information as an electronic record in an electronic information and records management system."


The point is that you can produce electronic records as evidence if you follow the standard. Until recently, electronic records were viewed as unreliable by courts. But courts and regulators recognize and are adapting to the increase in electronic methods for doing business and keeping records.

Datawitness’s authentication and archiving process meets the requirements of the standard. So, you can be confident that your records stored with Datawitness comply with the standard. We manage the details of compliance so you don’t have to.

What is document authentication?

Document authentication captures the state of a document or communication at a moment in time by giving it a unique digital fingerprint based on its contents. If the document is subsequently altered in any way, the fingerprint of the altered document will be different from the fingerprint of the document archived with Datawitness. By comparing the fingerprint of a document to that of a document held by Datawitness, you receive third party verification of the authenticity of your document.

What is document archiving?

Document archiving stores documents and records efficiently and safely for the long term. The archive may contain both backups of active communications and documents, and records that are no longer actively in use but must be retained in safekeeping for compliance reasons.

Datawitness stores your records two ways—digitally for fast access, viewing and management via the Internet, and on long-term media for tamperproof records that meet Canadian General Standards Board requirements for maintaining documentary evidence.

What is an electronic signature?

"The term 'electronic signature' means an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record."

Source: Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN), a United States federal law

Datawitness uses a multi-step process to satisfy the requirements of creating an electronic signature for paperless contracts.

What is clickwrap?

Clickwrap is a legal term for the process through which people accept and agree to terms and conditions electronically without handwriting a signature on paper. Clickwrap has been tested in many courts and found to be legally binding as forms of reaching agreement without traditional signature gain common usage in the marketplace.

Is Datawitness secure?

Yes. When you login to the Datawitness application website ( your browser uses the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol to transfer information to and from your computer. SSL is the industry standard for protecting Internet data transfers. All data transferred between your web browser and Datawitness servers is encrypted and safe from prying eyes.

How is my confidentiality protected?

All interactions with Datawitness via the Internet occur during an encrypted web browser session. Data transferred between your computer and Datawitness servers is encrypted using the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol that is the standard for ecommerce transaction protection.

Datawitness servers and your digital data are maintained in managed facilities that provide comprehensive firewall, monitoring and physical security services. For more information refer to

What is so unique about archiving records with Datawitness?

Through the Datawitness Engine, a copy of each of your records gets profiled and archived onto long-term media and that media is stored in a vault. This is an incredible feature to have, compared to other archiving solutions which are based on digital storage alone. In most cases, the reason we want to save important records to begin with is because they are digital.

What is a Datawitness submission?

The heart of the Datawitness web application is the submission. You use a submission whether you are archiving a document on a one-way trip into safekeeping or sending communications or documents for viewing and action by one or more people. Each submission is a witnessed communication or transfer that can be viewed only by you via your password protected account. Submission viewings and responses by recipients are logged for your records.

How do I use a Datawitness submission?

Archiving documents is a simple process and uses a one-way submission which doesn't generate any follow-on communications. Sending submissions to recipients takes several steps. Datawitness uses email to notify recipients and account holders of actions arising from sending and responding to Datawitness submissions.

Can I include external documents with my submissions?

Yes. You can enter text into a non-archive submission either by typing or by cutting and pasting. However, if your content rests in document or image files, you can include several common types of files as part of a submission. Document formats Datawitness supports for long-term archiving fall into two categories; text-based files and image files.

Text-based formats you can include are doc (Word), pdf (Adobe Portable Document Format), txt (plain text), html (Hypertext Markup Language), xls (Excel), and ppt (Powerpoint). Image formats you can include are tiff (Tagged Image File Format), jpg (JPEG File Interchange Format), and gif (Graphics Interchange Format).

spacerHelp the planet by Keeping Digital Files Digital!Datawitness is uniquely situated to help you help our Planet!. Look for this icon The path to green! throughout the site for “Green Tips”

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It worked flawlessly. It took me less than 5 minutes to do all my uploading. Given the increased burden the Ministry is placing on private schools, anything that can make the process quick and let me get on with my work gets a thumbs up from me.

Lee While

Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology

More Testimonials

Quick Fact

Every tonne of paper diverted from landfills through shredding and recycling reduces your carbon footprint by 3 megatonnes.

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