What Is eIDAS Regulation?
eIDAS is a European regulation that legalizes the use of electronic signatures throughout Europe. With the passing of this regulation, companies can now safely use digital signatures for signing contracts and business documents in any EU member state.
Aside from legalizing eSignatures, this regulation also defines and standardizes the role of the Trust services within the EU. It provides a legal framework that is consistent for the companies, the people, and the public administrations.
Also, eIDAS allows them to access digital services safely in any EU member state and ensures safe execution of electronic transactions across all EU member states.
This regulation came into effect on the 1st of July, 2006 replacing the Electronic Signature Directive that had been in use for over 15 years. It sets down the laws regarding the use of the eSignatures and defines what types of digital IDs and signatures would be deemed acceptable.
Any company that wishes to make use of the digital landscape in Europe and make use of electronic signatures for signing documents must comply with eIDAS.
What Are the Three eSign Types that eIDAS Recognizes?
The three types of eSign that eIDAS recognizes are:
Standard Electronic Signature
Standard Electronic Signatures encompass passwords, PIN codes, and even scanned versions of signatures.
As per the guidelines set by eIDAS, a standard electronic signature is any electronic data that logically connects to other electronic data, which is being used as the signature for a document by a signatory.
Advanced Electronic Signature
An electronic signature that can identify and be uniquely connected to the signatory is called an Advanced Electronic Signature. Also, the signatory needs to have sole control over the data that is used for the creation of the electronic signature.
EU Member States have the liberty to accept Advanced Electronic Signature or not. However, they cannot deny its legality and admissibility in court just because it is in an electronic format.
Qualified Electronic Signature
Qualified Electronic Signature is the most reliable form of electronic signature. They hold the same legal value as handwritten signatures. An advanced electronic signature can be termed as a qualified electronic signature if it is backed by a qualified digital certificate.
This qualified digital certificate should be created using a qualified signature creation device. eIDAS requires that the qualified signature creative device for creating the qualified digital certificate must be issued by a Trust Center that is on the European Union Trust List.