Esignatures – EU legal update
Esignature stories! Like London buses, nothing for months and now this is the third story in as many days…
The European Union’s new Electronic Identification and Trust Services for Electronic Transactions in the Internal Market (eIDAS) regulations were approved by the European Parliament on April 3 2014, in a move that significantly revises the previous European Directive on Electronic Signatures 1999/93.
The new regulations, which must be implemented by all EU member states, ensure that organizations and businesses, as well as citizens, will be able to conduct trusted secure transactions while using the latest technologies, such as cloud and mobile, to enhance both corporate efficiency and personal productivity. The regulations cover the full set of electronic identification and trust services by establishing cross-border procedures, requirements and obligations for Trust Services Providers (TSPs) and trust-related services, such as electronic identification, electronic signatures and seals, time stamping and more.
Most significantly, the regulations endorse the server-side signing model, which is based on a remote server that hosts the signer’s credentials and performs the signing process, and explicitly note that it is as legally binding as the smartcard signing model. This follows a multi-year debate over the legitimacy of server-side signing with certain countries questioning its compliance with the “sole control” requirement of the previous EU regulations. This debate has kept EU companies from moving to more advanced signing technologies which are also far more efficient and cost-effective than smartcard-based systems.
Gadi Aharoni, CEO at ARX, the compasny behind the CoSign syste, said “We welcome the new eIDAS regulations and their inherent acceptance of the server-side digital signing model. Countries and organizations that have thus far required the use of smartcards can now legally switch to a centrally managed signing device which would enable people across the EU to sign using the latest technologies including Cloud-based services and mobile devices.”