The eIDAS Regulation
The eIDAS (electronic IDentification, Authentication and Trust Services) regulation was established under EU regulation 910/2014, replacing the eSignature directive of 1999/93/EC beginning on June 30th, 2016.
This new set of regulations was drafted to oversee electronic identification and trust services for transactions in the European Union's internal market. eIDAS looks over authentications, signature seals, registered delivery services and time stamps in order to regulate electronic signatures, transactions, and embedding processes for transactions between public or private services. eIDAS strengthens the document signing process by making it extremely convenient and highly secure.
Types of Electronic Signatures as defined by eIDAS
According to eIDAS, electronic signatures are broadly categorized into three types:
Simple electronic signatures
A simple electronic signature is defined as "data in electronic form which is attached to or logically associated with other data in electronic form and which is used by the signatory to sign". This can be anything from your signature in digital form, to a checkbox that indicates your consent.
Advanced electronic signatures
An advanced electronic signature is basically a simple signature with some additional elements in place to enhance the authenticity and security of your documents. These are the requirements for an advanced electronic signature:
- It must be uniquely linked to the signatory
- It must be capable of identifying the signatory
- It must be created using data that the signatory can use under their sole control with a high level of confidance
- It must be linked to the signed data in such a way that any subsequent change in the data is detectable
Qualified electronic signatures
A qualified electronic signature is an advanced electronic signature that is created using an electronic signature creation device and is based on a qualified certificate for electronic signatures.
- Secure signature creation devices (SSCD) can either be local (e.g., USB tokens, smart cards, etc.), or they can be remotely managed by a SSCD provider.
- Qualified certificates are issued by public or private providers who have been granted 'qualified' status by the National Competent Authority as indicated in the National 'Trusted Lists' of the EU Member State.
Legal admissibility of Electronic Signatures under eIDAS
According to eIDAS,
- No electronic signature should be denied legal effect or admissibility in court solely because it is not an advanced or qualified electronic signature. eIDAS does not prevent any member state from accepting any type of electronic signature.
- Qualified electronic signatures should be given the same legal effect as hand-written signatures
Zoho Sign and eIDAS
Zoho Sign is an electronic signature solution that offers digital signatures compliant with advanced electronic signature standards as defined by eIDAS. Documents signed or sent using Zoho Sign are legally binding and can be admissible in the court of law. Learn More