On 1 July 2016, the eIDAS Regulation officially replaces EU 1999/93 Directive for providing governance over electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market across the European Union.
As of this date, the new regulation will be fully enforceable. As part of the regulation, all individual Member States will be required to replace any existing laws pertaining to electronic signing and trust services with the consistent regulatory environment provided by eIDAS.
Under the new Regulation, electronic signatures and verification services will remain admissible in a court of law if they meet specific requirements. A qualified electronic signature will be considered the legal equivalent of a handwritten signature and must be recognized as valid by all EU Member States - enabling cross border interoperability.
eIDAS provides deeper oversight into Trust Services by distinguishing between qualified and non-qualified Trust Services versus both falling under certification services. Trust Services will now be held to a higher level of scrutiny with the intent of promoting confidence among citizens to use electronic signatures.
Intent of eIDAS
The world is getting smaller and electronic transactions that occur across borders are commonplace. With the guidelines set forth under the new Regulation, both private and public sector transactions that involve a user’s official signature can be completed conveniently and safely for both the signatory and the recipient. Instead of having to travel to submit paperwork or send documents by mail or facsimile service, many transactions can now be accomplished in most instances with “a few clicks.”
This will save citizens, businesses and public agencies both time and money with the ability to deliver or access signed documents electronically.
References and Further Reading
- Selected articles on Electronic Signing and Digital Signatures (2014-16), by Ashiq JA, Guillaume Forget, Peter Landrock, Torben Pedersen, Dawn M. Turner and Tricia Wittig
- REGULATION (EU) No 910/2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market and repealing Directive 1999/93/EC(2014) by the European Parliament and the European Commission